Olive fields by Noreen

Olive fields by Noreen
Mysterious, primordial world

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Loss and loneliness

Thinking back:   Our grandparents house.  The house where my mother spent her childhood.   As a mother herself, she brought us there often to visit our grandparents.

From left to right:  me, looking down,  my elder sister in white dress and my younger sister with her hand to her face,  crying! in front of my grandparents house in Lougher, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

I took this photo in 1965 with the family camera a  "brownie"  of my younger sister and my grandmother who we called "Nana". Nana died in 1966.  I have wonderful memories of her and still miss her so much.

My granddad  circa 1958.  He died in 1962.  I have few memories of him but my mother told us many stories about him.

Here is a photo of my mother doing some painting!  She didn't really like art but did it at the local daycare centre to pass the time.  She would prefer to be knitting but could no longer do it due to arthritis in her hands. This photo was taken in 2007,  She is wearing a long cardigan which she loved. She had a large collection of them. On one occasion, I counted 29 and when I told her, she would not believe me!  She would have us search many shops until we found one with pockets, always handy for a handkerchief!   I'm wearing on of her cardigans now,  it keeps me warm in these cold winter months and I feel close to her when wearing it.  I thought of her this afternoon at my ceramics class.  The mother of my teacher sat in class with us.  It was lovely to see her sitting proudly next to her very talented daughter. They sat opposite me.  My teacher was helping another student with her design. As I looked up from my clay, I saw not my teacher's mother but an image of my own mother sitting in the same position with her wool and two knitting needles clicking together while she chatted and drank tea.  I was a young girl again,  back in the 1960's in our small cottage living room....it was a warm memory of a good day in summer when all was well.   I blinked a few tears away and cast my eyes downwards to my project on hand.  No matter what I write in this post, if you haven’t lost your mother, you won’t fully understand the depths of grief one goes through. The pain is crippling, with a terrible sense of loss and emptiness.  It hits you at random moments at any time in your life. When we were growing up, she was a very strict mother, we did not always get along but we all knew we were loved even though she never told us so.  She was always there for us.   She died in February, 2009.  I still cannot believe I'll never see her again.  The realisation of loss of our parents, and grandparents is an innate part of the human psyche,  it cannot be solved like a puzzle; it cannot be alleviated only hopefully made less painful as time goes by.  The old saying "Time heals all wounds" is not entirely accurate, but not entirely inaccurate either. I don't know if the wound of losing a mother is ever healed. The pain does get more bearable over time. But how long it should take? No one can say.

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