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14

February


A lot of loss. Sunday February 14, 2016

My son was home from school with an ear infection and, while I worked on my laptop, he watched a Star Wars movie. The beautiful sound track called me away from my work and I sat beside him on the couch. We snuggled up together. A perfect moment.

In the movie, Anakin arrives too late to save his tortured mother. He takes her dying body in his arms and swears vengeance on all who killed her.

And I started to cry. Silently.

I thought my son wouldn't notice. Until the tears dripped down his neck.

"Why are you crying, mum? It's just a movie,"

"I'm sorry," I answered. And yet the tears wouldn't stop.

Anakin utters the simple but powerful words: "I miss her so much."

And more tears came.

Now, my son is upset. I am his Florence Nightingale. When he or his sister are sick, I look after them. That's my job.

But now I was crying.

At a movie

At a Star Wars movie.

And I couldn't stop.

"Sometimes even I get a bit sad," I explained.

"Why?" he asked.

'Because... like Anakin, I miss people too."

And in that tiny moment, I thought of my birth mother who I've met a handful of times, my lovely father who died last year, my aunt who I adored, my friend who I miss terribly and my former husband who I loved once and thought I would spend the rest of my life with.

And I thought to myself: That's a lot of loss.

My son gave me a ginormous cuddle.

He reminded me that the mother dying is the least of Anakin's problems. Which is a good point!

We all have loss. And some of us feel our sadness on a very deep and dark level. And the oddest things can trigger the pain.

What makes it bearable for me is those cuddles. Rarer now because my children are that bit older and self-conscious.

Rare but so very precious.

Salt Water Mum
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

the room above the garage Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 6:44am

Hello SWM, what a beautiful post. And you have taught your son a beautiful thing. He'll remember that moment in the future, powerful. You clearly have a close family, every credit to you. Loved it, thank you x.

Annette Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 7:58am

What a heartwarming post.You shared such a precious moment with your son.You have had so much loss in your life and despite this you are a wonderful caring mother aka Flo Nightingale.Thankyou x

Soulmansblue Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 8:40am

Hi SWM,

That was a lovely moment not only to have shared with your son but with us here now!

Those moments are precious when shared, especially with a loved one. They can be distressing moments when recalling the losses you have suffered. It was good that your son was there to turn that sad moment into a precious one.

Take care and live for tomorrow, though it may never come for tomorrow never does. Tomorrow is always going to be today, so live for each precious moment that you have and share it when you can.

I don't know about precious moments but I had a senior one yesterday afternoon. I dropped off a friend and in m mind logged my next destination. I remember taking the next right with the intention od taking a further right a 100 yards further down the road!

The next moment a car turned into the street and it was a Police Car and it suddenly struck me where I was!

I was driving up a one-way street the wrong way!
This street has been one-way almost all of my life, I knew it was one-way. I don't remember anything after taking the first right, until the Police car turned into the street!

I had driven some 800 yards or more past the turning I'd intended to take and into the one-way section of the road. It is two-way for two-thirds then it becomes one. I don't remember even entering the two-way section which starts at the turning that I had intended to have taken.

I now have to face questioning this morning and the possibility of either a caution, fixed penalty or going to court. I haven't had a conviction on my licence for over thirty years!

The most distressing part though was not knowing why I'd done this and worse not knowing that I was until the Police Car turned into the street and I became conscious again of reality!

SMB

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 9:21am

...it's called autopilot...but sadly, I don't thnk the police will let you use it as an excuse! We've all done it...driven to or from somewhere and arrive thinking 'I don't remember that part of the journey!' Scary thought, but maybe a wake up call...hope it goes well at the police station, Bear hug x

Hopeful One Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 11:05am

Hi SMB - I hope the fuzz gives you the benefit of the doubt bearing in mind your 30 yr blemish free driving record. Or you could try this one. A guy gets his divorce papers and treats himself to a high powered Mercedes . He doesn 't realise how powerful it is until the traffic fuzz stop him for speeding. . The traffic officer asks him what the motorway speed is and the hapless motorist says 70 mph. The officer tells him he was doing 100 mph. ' But' the officer says " it's Friday evening and you want to go home and I want to go home. Now if you give me a good excuse why you were doing 100h I might let you go off with a caution. " The quick think driver says " Its like this officer. I got my divorce papers today because she was having an affair with a policeman . I thought you were bringing her back" The officer lets him off.

Debs Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 8:49am

Hey hun, what a beautiful blog and a wonderful reminder that it's ok to feel what we feel. I have been grieving a lot lately and I said to my therapist that I couldn't understand why because I hadn't 'lost' anyone recently. She pointed out that I had lost a lot - I'm starting perimenopause so I'm losing the chance for more children, I'm a single mum so I've lost the traditional family I was conditioned to expect, I've stopped work so I've lost my purpose, and lots of my friends have disappeared due to life circumstances so I'm feeling quite lost in myself... When we looked at it like that it was no surprise grief was present!! It would be strange if it wasn't ;-)

Thank you for raising this in such a sensitive way, I was so moved by your openness with your son, it gives me the strength to do the same. Huge valentines love to everyone today, thinking of you all
xxxxx

Adam Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 9:19am

That was a lovely post, thank you.

Bearofliddlebrain Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 9:29am

Hi SWM, am so pleased the soundtrack took you over a galaxy and onto the couch with your son. It brought back so many memories of sharing films with my daughter...especially when she was poorly and home from school. You've captured it all so beautifully in your blog.
Any loss, whether it is through death,or like Debs - a health issue or losing friends, needs time to grieve for/over and get used to the new situation. They say time is a great healer but it just takes time to adjust to the new life you have to lead. It is also good to show your son your vulnerable side so he knows and understands he can show you or others that he can be vulnerable too....a huge life lesson.
Keep the snuggles and cuddles and hugs going for as long as you can - they are worth everything!
Bear hugs x x x

Salt Water Mum Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 9:58am

Thank you all for your kind and supportive words.

SoulMansBlue, I hope the guards are understanding.
I was driving my two to school the other morning, the three of us listening to Taylor Swift on the radio and the next they say 'mum, mum.. where are you going?' - I had gone right around the roundabout and was driving back home ... without dropping them off at school at all - Oooops!
Distraction and autopilot indeed!

Debs, I met this lovely lady poet a few times through another friend. Our children would be a similar age. The third time we met, I knew that her husband had passed away since. I said to her that I was so sorry to hear of his death. She had heard that I had separated since and she said she was sorry. I immediately gabbled that hers was very different, she was grieving etc. And she gave this lovely, warm smile and said very simply - 'it's all loss...'

Her words have stayed with me. A different type of loss but loss nonetheless. A loss of our dreams and hopes and expectations for the future. A disappointing loss.
But... we can build new dreams and hopes. I am working on it! And I'm also working on lowering those expectations of mine a tad!

take care,

SWM x

Debs Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 7:14pm

You're so right, in the midst of loss new shoots of hopes can be born ;-) Im working on my list of dreams right now - to find that I am hopeful again after such a dark time is a dream in itself ;-) Sometimes the smallest things can bring such joy. Thank you lovely, you've really brought a glow to my heart today xxxxxx

Leah Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 10:11am

Saltwater mum,
I love your blog with your evocative writing.

I like the way you told your son honestly "sometimes even I get bit sad"
I don't think you can compare suffering or loss. It is different for every individual.

Thanks for letting us into a personal moment with your son.

Norman Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 10:45am

Hi SWM,

my son came to live with me when he was 11 (just ended primary and about to go to secondary.) He was happy to be reunited with his dad but sad at no longer living with his mother. He loves Star Wars, and the bit where Anakin leaves his mother to go off and be a Jedi seemed to resonate with him. (It also made me Qui-Gon Jinn...) He's 28 and the force is still strong within him...

Skyblue Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 10:45am

Dear SWM, your post is beautiful, simple and profoundly truthful. In life there is love and there is loss. I think we can distil everything down to those two things, to the ebb and flow of them. Your post captures the bittersweet and says it all. I think my own depression and anxiety is always the result of some kind of loss, or fear of it. Best wishes. xx

Anonymous Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 12:06pm

Hello Salt Water. Your writing is so lovely. What a skill you have. I was saddened to read that you rarely see your birth mother. I went to see the film Youth the other day and one of the lines said by the beautiful actor Paul Dano, made me shed a quiet tear. I love the way film scripts can contain these little gems which elicit raw emotion and memories for some of us. Julx

Les Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 3:43pm

Hi SWM - such a sensitive and powerful moment - thank you for being vulnerable and also able to share such a rich gem.....what a great way to 'educate' your children.

Gursu Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 4:05pm

Beautiful. I recorded it in my collection of notes which I look over when I feel troubled. I'm sure it will help me the next time I read it there. So, thanks a lot. Great style, too.

Salt Water Mum Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 4:54pm

I am very moved by all your kind words,

Thank you,

SWM x

The Gardener Sun, Feb 14th 2016 @ 6:38pm

Dear SWM - wrote earlier, lost it - then had the nuns to tea! In my new kitchen - such admiration I am purring. You talked of seeing your natural mum occasionally - I'm not prying, but presume you were adopted or fostered? My interest is that we have two adopted daughters - I know they had started to trace their birth mothers, but never actually met. We never tried to influence them - but felt (they were adopted very young, their mothers only 19, and no chance at all of marrying the fathers) that it could lead to emotional problems on all sides. I always feel for the natural mothers - particularly on the girls birthdays. They cannot help wondering if they have had an unhappy life - even if they're still alive - because names were changed and papers issued in their adoptive names and until our girls were in their 20's (I think) adoption was final, no going back or meeting. I don't remember crying over any films with my kids - but if there has been 'conflict' as in g-granddaughter nearly wrecking our computers - after the storming off group hugs are the norm. My mother could cry for england (said that before) and thought me 'hard' because at times of high drama, illness or accident I was expected to cry - I sorted the problem and probably cried afterwards. When an Aunt's husband, an airman, went missing in the war, and she was making the best of it, my Ma turns up and on go the waterworks. When I found out that people cried when the hero of my first novel died I was most chuffed - he'd got into them! Nearly cry myself, and I wrote the stuff! I had to go into another corridor at the hospital and cry when Mr G was in such a state he was manacled to stop him pulling his drips out. A moment of agony I hope will not be repeated

David Mon, Feb 15th 2016 @ 1:37am

A lovely vignette, a glimpse into a rich moment, evoked with such clarity.

Didn't Rumi say something like whatever we lose comes round in another form? And your piece (which evokes your experience so clearly and so beautifully) illustrates that so well. You've lost people you loved, so many rich moments gone, but there you are now, enjoying so rich a moment now, in the present, with your son (who's clearly got a great sense of proportion!).

Yes, life can seem sometimes like a series of losses. And thus pain. No-one can replace my father. I've a gap in the shape of him that will remain as long as I'm alive myself. The pain goes, but the gap remains. But imagine if one lived a life where one never loved anyone enough to miss them when you lost them. So the pain of loss and the persisting sadness are the price we pay for having known someone precious.

Maybe if we never lost, we would never value anything. And the way we crazy animals are made, we always value what we've lost more than what we actually have, and often refuse what the flow of life brings us to. As Robert Frost wrote:

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

In a word, I suppose – as your piece suggests so evocatively – we must not let the losses of our past blind us to the gifts of our present, and future.

P.S. In your response to SoulMansBlue, you say "I hope the guards are understanding". Are you Irish by any chance? I don't think readers in the UK will know that police in Ireland are called guards!

Salt Water Mum Mon, Feb 15th 2016 @ 8:47am

I have obviously revealed quite a bit about myself!
Yes, Gardener, I am adopted. And yes, David I am Irish!

Lovely to read Robert Frost's poem and I do like your own summary - 'we must not let the losses of our past blind us to the gifts of our present, and future..'

And Skyblue, your words have stayed with me too - 'In life there is love and there is loss. I do think we can distil everything down to those two things, the ebb and flow of them'.

Thank you everyone,

SWM x

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