“It’s quite sad really,” my husband said as he sorted out our old crockery to be thrown out.
I’d been eager, and perhaps a little pushy, to get a new set of dinner plates and bowls. Our old set had the signs of good usage with a few chips and scratches. It was time for them to go especially as over the past month I’ve been focusing on nourishment and you can’t be nourished on plates with dings and dents.
But yes, it was sad.
Images flashed in my mind of the day we bought the crockery set.
It was our first day in our new house, early December2007 , and I’d got lost in the dark trying to find the Tesco supermarket and ended up in Sainsbury’s instead.
We needed plates because we didn’t have any and we all wanted to eat that evening.
Tabitha was just a month old and my two sons were still in single digit age numbers.
Those plates weren’t just something to place food onto. They were a new start with all of us. They were family dinners around the dining table. They were unity.
Then the tears came.
Hot tears of grief, escaping from a place down deep.
Tears I try so hard not to flow because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to stop them.
I’m usually so very good at not feeling this pain. I’ve been keeping it hidden away for five years. I can function with it there unless something sideswipes me.
Like the plates.
The blow comes and my defences are down.
I feel alone with only a deep, deep sadness as company.
On a logical level, it makes no sense to feel this sorrow. I mourn the loss of the relationship with my son – he left me to live with his father back when he was 12.
I didn’t finish the grieving process.
It was sudden, painful and unexpected. I cried a lot back them. I’d be okay one moment and then I would lament.
My heart would ache for my first born.
For the times we wouldn’t have together. For all the growing up he would do without me. For being shut out and excluded from his life.
I missed him, I still do.
But it wasn’t an ending. It was a slow beginning to a different and better relationship for us both. I’m very proud of the young man he’s becoming. He buys me cake and humours me with games of Scrabble when he visits.
And yet I grieve.
Back then in the days when I was tender with sadness, I would blog about how I felt. It was therapy to me. One day a woman left a comment telling me to get my act together and start acting like a mother to my other children.
Those words sunk through my tears, stung my heart, and I stopped crying.
I think, perhaps, I stopped a lot of things in that moment too.
I shut down this sadness but the tears have still been falling. They fall heavy on the inside and add to the already swollen well of heartbreak.
I pretend I can’t feel them.
Then, all of a sudden, I can’t hold them inside any longer.
Today it was the plates.
Last month, it was saying goodbye to my son at the train station after he’d spent his summer holiday with me. His last ever school holiday.
This deep sadness makes no sense. But you feel what you feel and logic has no place in the heart.
Perhaps it’s time to stop crying on the inside and to find space to grieve and process. It’s long overdue.
I will endeavour to let the tears fall as they may and let my heart be less heavy. That, I think, it really what getting my act together is all about and through that I am a mother to my children.
I’m sorry I let that one curt comment from someone who doesn’t matter stop my healing. I feel what I feel, that is all.