As I walked to work this evening, with the dusky sky above me, the amber glow of the streetlights below and that crisp, but distinctly enjoyable, autumnal chill in the air, I sighed, and then smiled, and then I sighed again. Those seemingly insignificant, but beautiful moments are those I would always choose to share with my mam; her joining in, even if it was just over the telephone would make those moments more fulfilling somehow. But tonight as I placed my hand in my pocket to call my Mam, I remembered how ill she is; how exhausted she was the last time we spoke. I carried on walking and quietly grieved for that moment that was almost there, but never happened.
I’ve been doing that a lot recently. I think we all have, including my mam.
We now know the severity of the alien’s hold on the mothership. It isn’t letting go of her and neither are we, but some things I am trying to make my peace with.
Since the prognosis of the alien’s permanency I have slowly been allowing myself to grieve for moments that will never happen again. This might seem defeatist or pessimistic to some, but I don’t feel that it is – as a family we are still creating happy, hopeful, loving memories together when we can, and there is still a focus on these, but alongside that I am trying to come to terms with the fact that some aspects of my life have changed and that there are situations I will never experience again. I’m doing this on purpose; it is very much a choice, something I am acknowledging, something I am doing to take care of myself. There is already going to be too much to process when the day arrives for the alien to go, so the grown-up in me is looking after the small boy in me by starting to confront the inevitable grief in manageable chunks.
There are too many moments to pick, but I’ll tell you of one.
I found her slippers in my living room the other day and thought how she would never stay over with me and my partner for the weekend again. I stopped. I cried. I smiled. I smiled because I remembered vividly all the frantic times she’d come over to stay, taken over my whole house, how we’d eat too much, drink too much and then I’d miss her when she’d drive off. I stopped. I cried. And then I put the slippers back as a reminder that those wonderful times did happen.
This is still happening and will continue to happen way after my mam leaves with the alien. At the moment it seems the most practical thing to do and is by no means me giving up, just a way for me to begin processing this new and sudden phase.
We’ve said it all the way through, but there is no right or wrong when it comes to aliens, only what is best at the time.
I am concentrating all my energy onto Mam; how she is feeling and the time we still have with her, whilst also grieving for the time that was ours, will always be ours, but we will never have again.
Grieving yet remembering.
Grieving yet treasuring.