What Would Lorraine Do?

I find myself asking this more and more….daily in fact.

It feels like over the past few months my life has shifted gear somewhat, with a lot of stuff happening around me; I’m back to evenings and weekends of rehearsals and workshops, masters assessments, essay deadlines, people I need to email, scripts I need to write, friends I need to see, birthdays, christenings, a not-so-straightforward bathroom refit…

Each one, for good or for bad, I would have discussed (at length) with my mam.

More recently, I have found a few tricky forks in the road of my career; some positive, but a number taxing, infuriating at times and upsetting at others. I know I can sort them, I know what I need to do and I know the right decisions to make, it just feels weightier somehow…

more of a burden…

more of a chest tightening…throat swelling…can’t seem to settle sort of burden.

But theses feelings don’t stem from the problems I’ve been facing, they come from that repetitive remembering that in those moments my mam isn’t there to fix it with me.

I cry a bit.

I scream a few times.

I struggle to breathe.

I try desperately to think of what she’d say.

It’s silent. And I hate it.

In a way I’d always off-balance the ‘aggravaters’ with a healthy dose of my mam’s ‘I’m on your side’ wisdom. But with that not being an option, what I want to do is shout:

“My mam died 7 months ago and I’m not being a c**t, what’s your excuse?!”

But I don’t. Instead, I say it in my head and then think W.W.L.D? and 9 times out of 10 I can think of what she would have told me and I do that. This helps.

I work harder. I meet fire with a hotter flame. I walk away. I phone up those closest to me that can help me figure it out. I vent to my husband. I buy a bottle of red, a pizza, a tube of own brand-Pringles, a tub of salsa, a milk buttons yogurt and I devour it all myself in one sitting. This helps.

I sit quietly and I miss her. This helps.

It’s shit. I mean really shit. Shitter than most people seem to know. A few weeks ago someone said, how positively I seem to phrase my experience, maybe I do, but don’t get me wrong – I’m still grieving, I’m still mad at the world, I still mourn for the life I used to have and for the one I will never have, I still feel a loneliness like no other void I have ever experienced, but it is an active choice to not give primacy to those feelings. I am not ignoring them, I just refuse to allow them to fully consume me. This helps.

That’s not how I’ve ever dealt with situations and it is most certainly not how my mam would want me to either.

As I write, I’m sure some of the words or phrases come from her. It’s not the same.

But it helps.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Janet Wilson says:

    I can empathise so much with this. 17 months on from losing Mam and as u say everything seems weightier, everything seems to be a burden. All decisions are harder to make. Places u used to go to are harder to go to now as u can’t take the person u really want to. Everythings importance is diminished but life goes on……..can’t work out why or how it can now……but it does……even if it does feel so wrong xx


    1. Matt Harper says:

      Hi Janet. Yep – I avoided certain places and situations for quite some time (I still do) and have moments of ‘I would enjoy this so much more if Mam was here’, but as well as making some things heavier other things it has put into perspective and have become that light that I’ve let them drift away from concern xx


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