What have you learnt from the loss of a loved one?

Number 2 – Realisations in grief

The second thing I’ve learnt since losing my loved ones is the realisation that not everything about them was good. People are people, they have good traits and bad traits, and dead people aren’t an exception to that rule.

The things I would sacrifice to experience one more hug from my Mum, or have my Nan’s home made lemon meringue pie once more, or sing along to Tony Bennett with my Grandad again. Of course I will miss my Mum and my grandparents endlessly.

But whilst I miss the good things about them, there are things that I won’t miss. Just to be clear – this post isn’t going to be name calling and throwing them under the bus for their mistakes (sorry Susan but ur #cancelled), it is a post coming from the realisation that my loved ones were not perfect human beings who should be constantly held in the highest possible regard.

My Mum was a hoarder, no doubt about it. She could not say no to a bargain, or if someone offered her something they no longer had use for. My Nan was one of those people who was constantly getting rid of things. She’d offer them to my Mum who obviously said yes, and our house just kept filling up with random stuff. I don’t miss that.

Mum was also very stubborn and it’s a trait that has rubbed off on me – I’ve learnt to argue like her. Which, when she was faced with my Dad’s stubbornness right back at her for the 12 years they were together, it caused her argument to be extremely defensive. I’ve had to really try to get myself out of that mentality and reassess my emotional response to confrontation, which I never would do when Mum was alive. Because it seemed like the right thing to do from my role model.

The guilt that crept in and accompanied my thoughts earlier on in my grief when I didn’t have to clean up Mum’s crockery in the kitchen before I made something to eat. She’s dead so I don’t have to clean out her coffee mug, result! But also how dare I find a victory in the fact that she’s dead?!

They were all lovely people who achieved some brilliant things, taught valuable lessons, and had amazing experiences throughout their lives, but they also had flaws – like everyone does. And it’s okay to realise that. I miss them all so much. Some days it does quite literally seem as though there’s a Mum shaped hole in my life. But at least now I don’t have to clear her hair out of the plug hole anymore.

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