I mentioned previously that my world was rocked when my mother commit suicide. It's not the nicest story to read so I do apologise if you're left feeling sad rather than upbeat.
But one which might help to paint a picture of how I reached this point in my life. By writing this I'm not hiding anything. It's real. And sadly it happens to so many others.
So here goes.
This month marks one year. One year since my mother passed. This time last year I was pregnant with my second child. I had just arrived back in Australia after living in America for nearly 2 1/2 years. My husband was still in America but I returned with my son earlier than my husband was able to as he had work commitments to complete before he could join us.
On this dark day I was visiting a baby store with my nearly three-year-old son. He was playing in the kid's play area outside the baby store when I noticed I missed a call. It was from the police station in the suburb that my mother lived. They asked me to call back immediately. My heart dropped so far I thought I would fall. I held my pregnant belly. And called them. They said something had happened to my mum and instructed me to go to the nearest police station. I knew what it was about. I had mentally prepared myself for this event for years prior. I called my younger brother and he met me at the station. We sat with the same heart wrenching feeling and brewing sickness in our stomachs. My son was with me and the three of us were taken into the sergeants office.
I knew what the sergeants words were. I waited for them. They were spoken and the world went silent. Time froze and this event that for years I dreaded had finally come. "Your mother ended her life today". Those words will forever haunt me. While for a long time I anticipated this moment, I was in total disbelief. There was silence. Our heads hung low. My son sensed the pain and immediately left the room to explore the station with another officer. We were given details. The sergeants condolences. An offer of help and a ride home. I called my dad and my older brother to deliver the news. My older brother like me was in disbelief. My dad was away for work and received the same call to visit the nearest police station to him. But he hadn't yet heard what had happened. With a quivering voice and tears welling in my eyes I broke the news to him. That his love, his 'Tiny Dancer' had left this world. His cry through the phone teared my heart open.
It was late in the day. My son was hungry and we arrived home to our apartment. We had fish from a box baked and a handful of peas each. It's all I could manage. We sat and ate. I tried to talk with happiness and forced a smile across my face for the sake of my son. I bathed him, read our usual stories, sang a few songs, kissed him gently and put him to bed. I called my mother-in-law and my good friend and told them the news. I text my husband to call me as soon as he woke since in Seattle it was the middle of the night. My mother-in-law soon arrived on my doorstep.
That night was surreal. I remember laying at the bottom of my son's bed feeling empty. I didn't cry. I didn't know what to feel. Hours passed as I gazed at the ceiling, replaying the day over and over in my head. I closed my eyes and eventually fell asleep.
This month marks one year. One year since my mother passed. I've attended therapy. I've confronted so many emotions. I've dealt, and I'm still dealing with the guilt I feel over the arguments we had leading up to her passing, and for perhaps not showing enough love. I've forced a smile across my face despite the horrible feelings within. At the moment it feels as raw as it did this time last year. Only now it's accompanied with the feeling that her memory is gradually slipping from my grasp.
Loosing a loved one brings up a lot. It makes you question life. What you are doing and where you want to go from here. It's a smack in the face that life is fleeting and each one of us will have our day where we will leave this earth. It makes you take notice of your kid's smiles and laughter even more than you already do. It makes you question why we are here and the imprint we make on this earth.
I still hear her voice. I miss her voice. I miss being able to call her to talk about a problem I'm having and hear her loving words. I miss her hugs. How warm and comforting they were. I have her scarf. With everyday that passes the smell fades away that little bit more.
I know life moves on. Our spirits move to another world, or perhaps that we are reincarnated into another form. At least I find comfort in thinking that maybe the case. I imagine that she is watching. Smiling at me as I have a rough day with my little ones or argument with my husband. And telling me to stop worrying, that "Channy, everything will be OK". I still remember vividly Mum dancing in our living room singing 'Don't Worry Be Happy' by Bobby McFerrin. I wish she listened to those words.
I have attempted to write this many times. But always stop after a line as it was too painful to confront. Perhaps this is a small step forward in the grieving process. Acceptance of this dark day to make space in my heart to move on and fill with beauty. Life really is beautiful. I know my mum saw beauty and it wasn't always sorrow. That her laughter was genuine despite the pain she felt inside. I know she loved deeply and felt loved. And while it was a very sad departure, that she finally found the peace she so desperately needed and could once and for all put her frantic thoughts to rest.