Saturday, August 22, 2009

Too intense

A few years ago, before Zuzu’s Petals was published, my bereavement journal about my father was going to be published as a self-help book. The publisher asked me to write a second part to it which I called Becoming a middle-aged orphan, which described the experience explicitly and offered tips for coping which I had researched from friends and from books about bereavement.

I sent it to a dear friend today, my sister-in-law, as her mother has just died and I thought it might be helpful. But my experience of losing my mother has been so very different from losing my father, that it made me wonder how I would have written the piece if I’d been writing it now.

The truth is I couldn't have written it now. Someone at the Buxton Festival asked me whether I’d have been able to cope better with the death of my mother, if I'd written about it, just as I did about my father. "Yes," I said, "maybe, but I couldn’t write about her. I tried, and every time I tried, I broke down."

Ma  and Sue in Morecambe

Then later I remembered that I'd blogged about it, for example, this post. And there are several other posts in November and December that I wrote about my mother, and how much I missed her. The irony is that she would have hated it. She was a private person. But this is my life (now) and if I want to tell the world that I love her and miss her, I can.

She was my rock. I love her, and miss her.

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