There are things that bring me comfort and remind me of my Mum in sad times. When I’m having a bad day (or a good one), I can let myself listen, read, experience, and share these things that help me feel better.
Listening to music that reminds me of her. I made a playlist on Spotify filled with songs that she loved, songs that we enjoyed together, songs we would always dance to if they came on, songs that remind me of driving between London and Dorset, songs that bring comfort, and the songs that were played at her funeral. Then there are songs of which the lyrics resonate with my feelings and my situation. They reflect my Mum and our relationship. Spice Girl’s Mama brings me to tears every time. There are songs that fill me with pride but are jaded. Chaka Khan’s Ain’t Nobody oozes my Mum’s spirit. Listening to it is bittersweet because they are littered with the fact that she’s gone, but that bass riff starts and I am instantly comforted by the memories of belting it out with my Mum in the car or on the dance floor.
(Bit of a back track here) My grandfather – Deda – passed away on 26th April 2013, just as spring had fully blossomed that year. This song came on the radio whilst my Mum and I were in the car on our way to see Nan after Deda passed away. It’s Bobby Goldsboro’s song “Honey”, and the lyrics go;
“And it was in the early spring,
When flowers bloom and robins sing
She went away
One day while I was not at home
While she was there and all alone
The angels came
Now all I have is memories of honey”
It made us both cry. When I hear this song now, it reminds me of all the people I have lost, as I have lost them all in springtime. Deda, Mum, and both my grandmothers (I’ll speak about them another time).
Cooking brings me comfort. It is something that Mum taught me to do, we must have spent weeks – if not months – worth of time in the kitchen together. Every time I make lasagne, chicken pie, curry, spaghetti bolognese, cottage pie, bake a cake, I am reminded of the knowledge she passed on to me, and the image of us helping one another in the kitchen. One year for Mother’s Day, I made her a pink apron to wear in the kitchen so she wouldn’t get flour down herself, and she wore it every time she cooked dinner. I am reminded of Mum each time Sam tells me I’ve made another tasty dinner, every time I get the correct ratio of ingredients through measuring by eyesight, whenever I pair the right flavours together, and whenever I see that pink apron sitting in the drawer.
Daffodils, carnations, and roses remind me of Mum. They have to be pink and white spray carnations, of course! The last thing I planted with Deda before he passed away were the daffodil bulbs, which just so happened to bloom on the day of his funeral. When Mum passed away, the day before her funeral, a single daffodil bloomed in my front garden. When Mum bought this house, she saw the rose bush in the garden as a good omen. The breed of rose is called “Grandpa Dixon” – the same as Mum’s own grandfather. Mum named me Rosie, so of course roses remind me of her. Anything rose scented, anytime I see a rose outside, and the rosebush in our garden reminds me of her.
Finding comfort in simple things makes grief suck less. None of us will always have our loved ones, but we will always have reassuring memories.