“just breath, just breath”. Taking in deep breaths whilst holding back the tears I can remember repeating this to myself over and over again. “I need to be strong, I need to be strong”. I could feel my legs wanting to crumble away underneath me but I was determined not to let them. The pain in my chest was unbearable, I felt as though my heart was tightening as I tried to take in everything that was happening around me. I wanted to run just run away but when I looked at my younger siblings on the either side of me I knew I couldn’t. I knew that at that very moment I was their strength to help them get through the day so I knew that I had to find my inner strength from somewhere. Why is it when someone passes away we always feel we are the ones that have to be strong for everyone else? they are probably thinking the exact same thing.
Feelings of anger, sadness, relief, pain, guilt over whelmed me at different points through the 30 minute service leaving me feeling as though I was in a daze or a bad dream that hopefully I was going to wake up out of soon. Memories of happy times appeared like snippets of home movies but these where quickly fazed out as I started to wonder if my mum knew how much I truly loved her despite everything that had happened and how I didn’t blame her any more or hate her for what had gone on. Those 30 minutes appeared to change my thought process. I seemed to all of a sudden feel empathy for her life and what her life had become. I started to remember my mum for who she was before the drink took over. The caring, loving mother who gave me hugs and tucked me up in bed, looked after me when I was poorly. How and why did things change? I almost felt at times as though the drink was the devil when it took over her body and her way off life. I wished so much that I had visited her before she died despite the fact she was on a drinking binge, just to tell her that I loved her and I forgive her. The feeling of guilt made me feel sick as I found myself thinking about what a terrible daughter I am for not seeing her during that time. Even though consciously I was able to justify my reasons why. I always avoided her drinking binges now I was an adult and I could. How was I to know that this would be her final binge?
They say time is a great healer but how much time do you need to heal so many wounds that appear to keep re-opening?