Eulogy to Mum
Hi All, I know it has been some time since I posted but I have had to take some time out for personal reasons and in order to support people looking for help and support I needed to let go of some of my own demons and seek some closure by finally getting to say Goodbye to Mum.
Sadly we cannot post photos on here as they perhaps are one of the most powerful symbols from that day, however I did say to Emma and co some time ago that I would post Mums eulogy to show that we can move on and find some kind of peace so on a lovely Summers day a few weeks ago my family (well some of them) and I went to Mums final resting place 4 years after she died and finally said our Goodbyes and laid her to rest in our own way.
When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you dread the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from someone telling you its too late, she's gone. Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene.
When that call came to me on that May morning I knew, Dad didn't need to tell me. The woman I called Mum was gone. I can remember as a Mother myself my first instinct was to protect Lo from the fact that Mum died on her birthday. I see now it is just one of life’s quirks but I also see it as a sign that she had finally let go and was saying Goodbye to her first born Grandchild as she clung to that slim thread of life waiting to finally find that peace denied to her in life.
Once I'd been to see Lo to tell her that her Nan was gone I still didn't grieve and life went on much as before.
My Mum was a damaged individual fighting invisible demons every moment of every day, she wasn't strong enough to do it alone and sadly instead of picking up that phone and saying 'Help me' she picked up a bottle and drowned out the worst of the pain.
None of us can sit in an ivory tower in judgement of her, we all have the capacity to give in, struggle to cope or not have the strength to keep fighting alone. Most of us find that inner strength with help, sadly some of us including Mum don't.
It took the words of an ex addict to shock me in to realizing that my Mum wasn't weak or selfish but a seriously sick woman who had suffered such an horrendous past that however fast she tried to run away or tried to numb the pain she could never escape. The priority of any addict is to anaesthetise the pain of living, to ease the passage of the day with some purchased relief. Addiction is a serious disease; it will end with jail, a mental ward or death. Sadly in Mums case she ended up paying the ultimate price.
After Mum had a stroke some years before she died she didn’t drink for some time, for those few precious months she was my real Mum. I saw the love she had for all of us. She was always desperate for news of her Grandchildren. We talked of her coming to visit us by the sea, sadly she never got to make that trip but those precious few months are locked in my happy memories for all time.
There is no such thing as an ex addict, they battle every day, the slightest set back can send them spiralling out of control. Mum barely stopped that spiral before she began her decline again and that is when I finally had to walk away to save my own sanity, I wanted to help, I begged but she refused and I knew I had finally lost a battle I could never win, the desire for oblivion and the numbness it offered was too hard to resist. Even the love of a child wasn’t enough to pull her back from the edge of that invisible cliff she teetered on every day
When I reflect on my own childhood and indeed my adult years it is impossible not to remember some of the painful memories, to feel some anger and bitterness but my overwhelming feeling is one of regret for the things she never got to share or indeed will share in the lives of all of us. Sometimes it is difficult to comprehend under all that venom brought on by alcohol&drugs that in her lucid moments she would stop and think about us all but I know in my heart that she did, she desperately wanted to be capable of the love we needed and she craved.
We are all here because despite everything we cannot deny we loved her; demons and all, I am sure among our painful memories are ones that makes us smile too. I cannot paint her as a saint but I can find some comfort in knowing that my brothers and I have ensured our own children’s lives have been and will always be very different and kinder than ours.
Mum - I hope you are finally at peace and that you are looking down smiling today to see your family here to remember you and commemorate your life as it should be. I am not ashamed to say I love you because I will always love you although I hated the disease that took you from us and the person it turned you into.
Today we can finally put you to rest, we can close a very painful chapter in all our lives and know you are being remembered as you should be, Good Bye Mum, sleep well and keep watch over those gorgeous Grandchildren of yours x x x