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My New Different. Saturday February 4, 2017

I can't believe that this time last year Mum was still with us. As Saturday approaches, I try to stay positive, but the pain is tangible... They've both gone now, within just seven months of each other; my consolation is that Mum and Dad are reunited again and that makes my loss almost bearable, almost!

It isn't true what they say; it doesn't get easier, it just becomes different and the 'New Different' is where we have to learn to live again. There's days when I genuinely feel stronger but then it hits me with a force that literally takes my breath away. It makes me gasp and I have to just stop. Problem is you never know when it's coming, apart from obvious dates... and now I'm on the eve of it being exactly a year since I was able to hug the most precious, loving, generous woman I've ever had the privilege to call Mum.

Sometimes it feels like years since I last heard her say my name and yet there's times when I still feel her hand looped through my arm as if it were yesterday. I can feel it because she used to hold tightly at times due to the pain she was in but she insisted that walking 'kept her going'. She used to say "If you don't use it you'll lose it". She was such a strong, dignified woman. Anyway the reason I can feel her grip is because she held so tightly her nails used to dig into my arm. I used to say "Steady on you're hurting." Mum would instantly loosen her grip saying "Oh sorry love, didn't mean to" but as I feel the sensation of her hand still holding my arm I'm thankful her nails dug in a little because that feeling means she's still close!

So Saturday will come and go, we'll mark it appropriately and Sunday will dawn like any other week. I know this is the way it has to be now; so I'll just learn to see the good in this new different. As you always said Mum "Chin up Chuck, the sun's always shining above the clouds." Sometimes I feel as if the sun will never shine again but my heart is reminded of your words that it's there somewhere even if 'covered in cloud' at times.

So I'll continue to move forward and enjoy life by your example remembering "A day without a smile is a day wasted" and "Enjoy every minute of every day because life is precious." Well Mum this world was certainly a precious place when you were in it and strangely it lost its sparkle when you left, but I will find a way out of the dark and look to the future with the same spirit and joy of life that you showed.

If you're learning to live with your 'New Different' trust me when I say there'll be days that you will be able to remember them without such pain. There will be times when you can smile through the tears. If all else fails, please be comforted by Mum's philosophy that the sun is always shining even if temporarily covered by clouds!"

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Jane Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 6:08am

Dear Rosemary, thank you much for sharing this. I'm so sorry for your loss and I feel your pain. I lost my brother shortly before Christmas and the funeral was just earlier this week. Oh how it hurts. Especially as I am also gradually losing my own dear Mum to dementia/Alzheimer's. Like your lovely Mum though she had many little sayings which have always helped me so much. My favourite was 'walk tall.' Do walk tall today Rosemary and I will think of your lovely Mum saying that there is sunshine through the clouds x

Orangeblossom Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 7:57am

Hi Jane, Thinking of at this very difficult time of your pain and loss.

Jane Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:35am

Thank you so much Orangeblossom x

Sally Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 10:08am

Jane, that's so hard. Many virtual hugs and I will remember your mums saying to walk tall! Sayings are a godsend! To remember loved ones by. What was your brother like? Surround yourself with warmth and love from those who care ,in your bereaved state ,and be kind to yourself. Grief knocks you for six!

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 11:55am

Thank you Jane. So sorry to hear of your loss and the pain of gradually losing your Mum to Alzheimer/dementia (I saw this in my Dad.) It really is the bitter sweet taste of love - the fact that it hurts so much is because the love was/is so deep. There appears a lore in life whereby for true balance we have to experience love and pain, joy and sadness, dark and light. I suppose the blessing is that to feel such pain means we have felt such love. My thoughts are with you right now x

Jane Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 11:45pm

Thank you so much Sally and Rosemary. In answer to your kind question Sally my brother was quirky, different, sometimes difficult and the funniest person I ever knew. Your description of dark and light Rosemary is so true. Thank you. xxx

Molly Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 7:21am

Wow, Rosemary, a powerful blog. I've not much to say really, apart from you really captivated me in your writing and the way you expressed your feelings. Your mum sounds like a real treasure. With love, Molly xx

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 11:56am

Thank you Molly Yes if I can be half the woman she was I'll be one happy lady x

Molly Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 7:28am

Jane, my thoughts are with you, my mum in law had Alzheimer's, she fought it all the way, even though she didn't know who we were, she battled on with a smile on her face. I will always remember her smile. With love, Molly xx

Jane Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:35am

Thank you so much Molly. I love how my Mum's face lights up when I go to see her xx

Sally Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 10:11am

It's great when that happens, isn't it, Jane? A smile can mean so much. My mother used to speak with her eyes through the brain tumour that took her, and I could feel the love. A memory I cherish.

Rosemary Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 12:47pm

Yes the eyes say so much don't they? In the last couple of weeks Mum wasn't able to say much with words but her eyes spoke volumes x

Eva Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 7:39am

Hi Rosemary, you are doing really well. I am approaching the 2nd anniversary of my dad and 3rd of my father in law and cousin. The grief has moved into a different place. I didn't think that it would and it only did as recently as 4 months ago. I have been seeing a bereavement counsellor which I think is the reason, that and time. I still get the shock and gasp which you so well describe and the desperate sadness that I will never be in their company again but it's less so. I am guessing this is gaining acceptance.

I have had a lot of trouble coming to terms with losing my dad, I love him so much but we didn't have an easy relationship, in part due to his upbringing and life circumstances. As a father and husband he was distant and difficult to know, often uninterested and sometimes mean, but he could suddenly switch to being engaged and you got to bask in his light, I saw him over the years with other people being a great friend, he was loyal, dependable and the life and soul of the party. It created an almost addict like behaviour I spent my life craving his attention, coming away occasionally joyful at his interest and engagement but often dissatisfied and disappointed and feeling worthless, but the moments of joy kept you coming back for more. I managed in the last year of his life to really connect on different terms after laying some new groundwork for a few years and was looking forward to engaging with him more. Hard to have it taken away when you have finally managed to connect, but at least I managed. It's been a job of work reconciling all of that.

You have been blessed to have such a lovely warm relationship it's hard to lose the physicality of it, but it's good to have all of those happy memories that you can use as a comfort. Sometimes, I feel that I breath my dad, that's the only way I can describe it, some part of him is in me and always will be. Stay strong, life will never be the same but you carry your grief differently over time.

Jul Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 9:04am

Hello Eva. Your father has come up so often in your comments and particularly his death which I know affected you so very much. I am so pleased you explained today your relationship with him and his personality. What a struggle it must have been for you, craving his attention but it seems through counselling and your own analysis and sensibilities plus love for your father, you are coming to terms with what happened and his death. His death came so soon after you had worked hard to get to the stage of finally connecting with him. I am happy that you now feel in a different place but do write about him again. Julxx

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 9:10am

Hi Eva, Jul has said almost what I wanted to say so will wave Bear paws at you and be thinking of you too. I'm so glad for you, that you did manage to connect and become closer to him - the alternative would have been more upsetting when he died, I am sure. Bear hugs dear Eva x x x x

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:09pm

Hi Eva Thank you for sharing such heartfelt emotions so beautifully, it is clear through your writing how you worked so hard to gain the response you craved and I particularly resonate with your description of addict like behaviour. Although your relationship with your Dad was not always easy I am so glad you were able to reach a better place with him before he passed. As previously said the alternative would have been far more upsetting. As you say your grief has moved to a different place now and this is all part of the process. Much love and healing x

Orangeblossom Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 7:54am

Hi Rosemary, great blog. I love the clear way you expressed your feelings which which was captivating.
Thinking of you very especially today and in the weeks ahead. Love

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:10pm

Thank you Orangeblossom, I appreciate that x

Leah Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:14am

What a heartfelt blog that I can relate to. I wrote a blog called Adult Orphans 27/11/15 about living without ones parents.
I like calling it the new different.
It has been 10 years later this year since my dad died and I still miss him and my mum who died 16 years ago. I think your parents are always with you, their sayings, their funny ways and their annoying traits.
Thanks so much for writing about your emotions .

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:17pm

Thank you Leah I truly believe, like you, that our loved ones always stay with us in one form or another. As you say their sayings, traits, the smell of rose ...they all remind us, often daily, of the love we shared. x

Adam G Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:16am

That's a beautiful tribute Rosemary. You clearly loved your mum and dad very much and they equally clearly loved you very much too. All that love is still inside you and always will be.

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:18pm

Thank you Adam G Yes I was very lucky to have shared such a loving relationship with them both, some are not so lucky

LP Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:33am

Hi Rosemary,
Thankyou for such a beautiful blog. I liked reading about your closeness with your mother, it's something that I never had.
I liked what you said about recalling the sensation of her grip being comforting and meaning that she is still close. I hope that if any emotional pain also represents your closeness it also somehow brings a little comfort.
It truly is a wonderful experience when its a grey cloudy day, much like today in london and be on a plane. Last year I was amazed to see the sunshine bouncing on the beautifully white thick layer of cloud. The gentle shadows inbetween their large soft formations gave such contrast to the sun light, I was transfixed! As a child I would imagine running and bouncing happily on them! I would imagine that that is how your mother would love you to feel. Big hugs LPxx

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:25pm

Thank you LP I am saddened that you didn't have the same sort of closeness. Your description of looking through a plane window and seeing the sunshine bouncing on the cloud made me smile. I remember that from a trip my husband and I went on many years ago and whenever I feel low and hear Mums words I picture that memory of seeing the sun above the clouds out of the window of the plane. Thank you for the image of you running and playing happily on the clouds're right - that's exactly how Mum would like me to feel :) Hugs back x

Jul Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:57am

Rosemary. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. I have very lovely memories of my mother and think about her most days. The first anniversary of her death meant so much to me so I understand how you feel today. Love Julxx

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:27pm

Thank you Jul, we are truly blessed when our memories are good ones aren't we? Today my husband and I are going for a walk with the dogs after laying some flowers, we feel it will mark the anniversary just the way Mum would have wanted x

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 9:06am

Dear Rosemary
Having lost both of my own parents and in-laws, I feel saddened that we truly are the grown-ups now! No one in the background to just check that we are doing the right thing!! So we trust ourselves to do it and I feel this is part of the loss too - it's all the New Way of living after dear ones have died.

I do hope you can keep treasured memories of your dear Mum in your heart today...but try not to be too sad as she wouldn't want that. There is no end to grief we just get used to the new day without those special people in our lives. I cannot count how many times I have gone to the phone to ring my Mum or Mum-in-law to tell them some news or something funny that Baby Bear has done - and then it hits me like a ton of bricks - but recently the bricks have become liddle pebbles.
It does get easier hence the 'Time is a Great Healer' saying is supposed to be if comfort...and don't feel guilty when you enjoy life's liddle moments, or a day goes by and you haven't had them on your mind all the time - it doesn't mean you don't care, or don't love them any's just healing.
And anyone else grieving the loss of a loved one: we all cope with it in different ways and at different one way is better, only your way.
Biggest Bear hugs to you Rosemary,
Bear xxx

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:36pm

Thank you Bear. You're right it's quite a scary feeling to suddenly be the most 'grown up' one in the room! But it is the reality of the New Different and all part of learning to cope and move forward. Yes I know what you mean about reaching for the phone, or when I go into their home and still go to call out "hi only me" like I always used to. I do believe that time heals and even though I will never forget I understand the need for finding a new different and with it a different (and new) me! And yes I will try to be positive today - after the all the sun is shining (for the first time in days) so I think Mum may have had a hand in planning that :) Hubby and I are going to lay some flowers and then go dog walking - she would approve of that. Thanks for the Bear hugs x

Sue Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 10:14am

It is a year since I lost my Mum too, and though you learn to live without them, I still sometimes think 'I'll just tell Mum..' before realising yet again that she is gone. Friends tell me they feel the loss still after 15, 20 years so yes, we all just have to live with our 'New Different'. God bless all remembering their loved ones.

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:40pm

I feel for you Sue. Through sharing our feelings of loss (on here and other forums) I have been truly overwhelmed by the sheer number of people trying to find their own way of getting through it and the immense support offered to each other. Much love to you at this difficult time x

Sally Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 10:22am

Dear Rosemary,
That was deeply moving. Heartfelt memories of your Mum. Writing about your parents can also help. It gets it out there. And is something to refer back to that is physical. Things I wrote about my parents still surprise me and hold tree even thou Mum died 16 years ago. And sayings of hers:
Build bridges
Gently does it
Hold your horses
are just 3 that come to mind this morning.
She knew me so well!

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:43pm

Thank you Sally and thank you for sharing your Mum's sayings with us - I think 'Gently does it' is particularly poignant as it reminds us to also go gently with ourselves as we find our own ways of dealing with the grief. x

The Gardener Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 11:43am

Dear Rosemary - I sympathise with you in your sadness - also, envious (!) because you were close to your Mum. My m-in-law was a snob and very 'distant' would never have chatted or listened to your troubles. My mum was a total pessimist, disapproved of everything I did. As they both lived to 100 there was, naturally, only one way contact in the last years. My great grief, for which there is no consolation, is our estranged adopted daughter. She came to us at 5 weeks old, smaller than our 3 sons when they were born. She will be 50 this year, and I have neither seen her or talked to her for 5 years I only know what she looks like because, amazingly, she goes to family events - 90th birthday and a funeral last year,

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:49pm

Thank you The Gardner. I really feel for you especially when you speak of your greatest grief ...that of the loss of your adopted daughter; people often overlook the fact that grief through loss doesn't always mean the person has passed away. All I can do is send hugs your way and hope that one day the situation may change for you. x

Rosemary Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 12:51pm

I would just like to add a sort of post script if I may. I keep having dreams whereby I’m trying to ‘mend’ my Mum and Dad. They’re so painful because I keep reliving the one thing I most wanted to do for them both; make them better, take away their pain. Anyway my husband quietly said to me the other morning “You don’t have to mend them anymore – they are mended!” He’s right of course. Thought it may help anyone who is having similar dreams....

Leah Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:31pm

Rosemary Your dream interests me as i have had a recurring dream where my parents are alive but i know even in the dream they are dead. So i treasure the time with them and say to them all the things i wished i had said when they were alive. Maybe i was trying to mend my relationship with them. The dreams were so real not upsetting.

Rosemary Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 1:24pm

Yes Leah it sounds like you're getting the opportunity to work through things that you didn't have the chance to do when your parents were still with you. It's lovely that you have this time with them to tie up some loose ends. I look forward to the time when I can dream about my Mum and Dad without trying to mend them and just enjoy their company again. Thank you for sharing

Mel Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 1:40pm

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my Mum's death. Your blog could not have come at a better time. Thank you Rosemary. X

Mel Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 1:42pm

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my Mum's death. Your blog could not have come at a better time. Thank you Rosemary. X :-)

Mel Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 1:45pm

Oops! Not used to posting here & bad idea to do it on my phone, so sorry for the repetition.

Rosemary Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 1:19pm

Mel, I'm glad that my blog was timely for you and I hope it gave you some comfort. (& you can say it as often as you like :) )

Vickie Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 2:57pm

Dear Rosemary, Your blog is a beautiful tribute to your Mom. While the grieving and healing process is personal to each of us, your words and the words of fellow "moodscopers" are very comforting. Virtual hugs to all xx

Rosemary Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 1:25pm

Thank you Vickie x

Hazel Sat, Feb 4th 2017 @ 8:28pm

Thank you for your post today. It was such a long dark road that I walked down after my parents died. I joined moodscope at that time and it has been an amazing help. It's now six years since my Dad died and I can remember him with happines now but it hurt for a long time. The pain that we feel can make us more empathetic to others in the long term but when it's close it's really difficult.

Rosemary Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 1:32pm

Yes Hazel Moodscope certainly has been a help and even though I have only just felt strong enough to contribute I have read many of the blogs and found comfort in their words. It is a long road but as you say it does give us a greater understanding of how others may be feeling and ultimately, in time, be able to offer help.

Nicco Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 10:57pm

Thank you, Rosemary. So sorry for the loss of your dear mum. Yes, it does get different. And thank you for that lovely saying about the sun being above the clouds - it spoke to me and I shall remember it.

Rosemary Sat, Feb 25th 2017 @ 7:11pm

Thank you Nicco I'm so glad that the sun being above the clouds may help you too; Mum would be chuffed to know that x

Maria Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 11:27pm

Thank you Rosemary for such a heartfelt blog. The intense pain that can strike anytime after such a loss can be overwhelming. I hope that the wealth of memories you have with your Mum help sustain you in dark times.

Rosemary Sat, Feb 25th 2017 @ 7:12pm

Thank you Maria for your kind words x

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