Hello July! My you’ve come around fast!
We’re now over half way through the year and we’re having some sort of insane heatwave. It is tradition, as a British person to spend all the time wishing it were hot and sunny and then the very instant the sun puts in an appearance, we just can’t take it and we’re all willing winter forwards. The sun can’t win.
For me, the 1st of July signifies the beginning of a tricky time of year. Four years ago today, I heard the worst news when my Mum let me know she had only days left to live. As it turned out, we had a little under two weeks to spend time together and try and process what was happening but of course, these things aren’t just parcelled up neatly and even now I can still feel that same raw emotion as I did then. Up until then, I had always been a positive person. Overwhelmingly so perhaps. In fact my pal Brad Burton, Britain’s number one motivational speaker even commented on it!
My mum was a very positive woman and she passed that on to me but that day and in those following, the world as I knew it crumbled and I have never quite got it back.
But little Miss Positivity is who I really am. Misery doesn’t suit me.
Grief is a funny thing. Not funny haha obviously but it is strange in the way it ebbs and flows and can totally sweep you off your feet when only minutes earlier, you’ve been fine.
Over the last few years I have felt I have come to the point where I’m ready to close that chapter and try and move forward a couple of times, but like the beast that it is, the grief has swirled back at me and kept me merely existing, doing my best to make it through the day.
The trouble is, that time doesn’t stand still while you get your sh*t together and try to rebuild yourself. So without me truly appreciating it, four years have gone; been lost to grief.
I’ve missed myself, frankly. And it has been so obvious in my words. A lot of the poetry I have written has had a downbeat feel or rather just not the upbeat tempo that I lived before THAT change.
Maybe this blog shouldn’t even be on here. It’s not poetry, but it is life. My life.
And today I am seizing it back.
It occurred to me that I could just spend the rest of my life being sad and I don’t want that. Nothing I do or say can ever bring my mum back. That’s a fact. But the way I live going forward does not have to be defined by that tragedy. If my mum were still here, she’d be going about her day to day life and living, and that’s what I need to do.
There is no escaping the memories. Even as the sun shines today I am instantly cast back four years as the sun shone hot and bright on the coldest and darkest days of my life. Even sitting writing this, I can feel my brow furrowing and my mood slipping as I remember.
So, instead of spending this month focussing on the anniversaries of all the ‘lasts’ and sadness we experienced, instead I am only going to allow myself to think of my positive memories of her and of our lives together.
She was quite a character so there are lots of reasons to smile.
Before we lost her, we had so many sunny days together. Shopping, walking, sitting out in the garden, visiting relatives…… the sunshine should remind me of those days instead of those final, hopeless days and so that is how it shall be.
I’m hoping that that subtle shift towards what I put at the front of my mind will make all the difference. I’m not going to wish the month away but I am going to put myself back into the driving seat so that I can decide how it goes. I will navigate my way through the month, and not be driven back into the doldrums.
Wish me luck!
I hope July is kind to you and that the sun shines on you all.