It’s a day

Today is the 6th of July, 2016. Two years ago my Mum, Catherine, the owner and creator of this blog was taken from us. Almost a year has passed since my last blog when we were in the UK. An amazing, special time.

I have hardly even visited the blog in this last year.

I have been busy finding my way in my new life, without my Mum. I navigated my way through losing a friend who had a 12 year battle with melanoma in April 2015. Then I stumbled my way through losing my oldest and dearest friend, Stacey, who had a five year battle with breast cancer in September 2015. I managed to get through both of them without Mum. Amazing what you can do, when you have no choice.

I’m doing ok, my son is now 11, I was able to move him to a school which is a much more positive place for him to be. I’m sure that would have been handled much better if Mum was here, but we got through it.  I have finally managed to get him keen on reading. The library is now a favourite place for him to go and I am delighted to see that he has discovered a series which he loves and is spending every spare moment buried in it. I know Mum would be clapping her hands with joy and sharing her love of books with him.

I have become a much easier person to live with than I was when I first lost Mum. Grief was very hard and I was so unhappy and stressed and emotional. Thank God I have an amazing husband who with the assistance of my wonderful grief councillor gave me the space and understanding to find my way.

Today I knew was going to be hard. I was prepared for it, which I’ve decided I need to be more often. I need to plan to give myself space to grieve, and then it’s likely I’ll actually cope with the day better than I expect. I spent a few wonderful hours with my Big Brother last night. In anticipation of having a hard time today and wanting to connect with him – the closest link I have to my Mum. He flew to Singapore for work today, so seeng him today wasn’t possible, but we managed to squeeze in dinner and drinks  last night.

I was talking with him about why I find anniversaries, birthdays, Mothers Days and other special dates so hard. Mothers Day this year was particularly hard. I had told myself and everyone around me I was fine and then I woke up and I was in a big, dark hole. Horrid. I wasn’t ready, it snuck up on me and it sucked. Big Time. I realised that those times are the days that I really stop and think about Mum and how much things are different now. How different I am now, and that makes me really sad.  I now feel like I don’t have somewhere else to go when things get really tough. I would always go to Mum. She was always there with a warm hug, soothing words, a cup of coffee and would help me put a plan together and gather the strength I needed to re-enter the real world. No longer do I have that safe haven, that soft place to fall and gather myself and my strength.

Of course I still have people to go to – my Husband, my Son, my friends and I have my Big Brother. Thank God for my Big Brother. I honestly don’t know what I would have done over these two years without him.  He provides a different safe haven to that which Mum gave me, but I love the fact that Cullen is so much like Mum in different ways to me. Our relationship is different to that which I had with Mum, and different to how our relationship was before Mum died. Back then we really didn’t understand each other, and now we share the fact that we are navigating our way through without Mum and realising that has had a profound effect on us. I feel like he has taken  over from Mum in being able to know when things aren’t right with me and he picks up the phone just to chat. Sometimes I don’t even realise what is coming – the tidal wave of grief, before he calls. I am so grateful for him, and I know he is of me.  When we left each other last night, his parting words about today were “It’s a day”.  He meant it in the way of today being a big day – hence the title of the post.

So this morning I was exhausted – I slept all morning and then felt like I was in a numb dazed state. I decided I needed to achieve something meaningful from the day, so I took myself off to Nalty Memorisls and organised Mum’s headstone. I’ve been meaning to for months, actually more than a year, but the time hasn’t been right. Today, everything fell in to place, and the deposit has been paid, the shape and design of the headstone set, and all I need to do is provide the text – that’s the easy part. I’m really pleased. It,s going to be amazing and then every time I visit the cemetery (which I don’t do all that often) I will be so proud of the headstone and the statement it makes about Mum and who she was, and what she meant to us.

The other thing I wanted to do was write a blog post, so this is my second accomplishment of the day.

Tomorrow I will wake up and it will be over two years since my Mum died. I’ll be in to the next phase. For now I’m happy to have quietly seen the day through, and ticked a couple of boxes.

We are headed off for a week in sunny Cairns on Saturday to spend with my Dad, which should be a nice getaway. I look forward to feeling warm. It’s been so bloody cold lately.

Then I will prepare to mark the one year anniversary of Stacey’s death in September and will be very pleased to post photos of Mum’s headstone here, when it’s complete.

I hope all of you here reading this today still remember my Mum often and with love. You all meant so much to her.

Until next time,


17 thoughts on “It’s a day

  1. Not forgotten by any means. I popped in earlier to see if you’d posted, and you hadn’t, so thought it might be best to let it pass. least in public. I always think of these late hours as ‘Catherine hours’..we often chatted then. I can’t think of her without smiling, loved her often quirky take on things. You never stop missing them, but the good memories do overtake the sad, eventually. My Mum passed just over 34 years ago, last week. I miss her still.
    Hugs to you and yours, Kirrily. Glad your son is settling, your Mum will be watching and smiling at his discovery of books. 💐

  2. Dear Kirra

    Firstly, my condolences and also my heart felt apologies as I stupidly did not read your blogs before I emailed your mother. I read your mothers blogs with interest and emailed her a year ago. I emailed your mother again today thinking she did not receive my email a year ago, asking her a question regarding a gentleman in the above photograph. I have just now read your blogs and realised this was your mother, I had no idea she had passed away. I am so sorry and hope I have not upset you in any way.

    Kind regards

  3. Hi Susan, no problem, no offence taken. I had been checking Mum’s emails and responding, as it was important to me to let people know why Mum had not responded – she would have wanted me to do that, but I haven’t checked her email account for months.

    Your comment about asking about the Man in the photograph does sound familiar, and so I thought I had actually replied – was it just a comment on the blog or was it an actual email? Any way, I think the wedding that my Mum was flower girl in (I assume that is the photo you mean) was a cousin of hers and so I’m not sure who the men are. Sorry I can’t be more help. Cheers, Kirrily

  4. Kirrily what a beautiful tribute to your mum and your family. You are resilient just like her and your ancestors. We all miss her and think of her..she was a special person and although we never met in person she was part of our lives. Do please share the memorial when it’s finished. Sending you lots of hugs. Pauleen xxx

    • Hi Pauleen,

      Lovely to hear from you and thanks for your kind words. I’ve missed the warm feeling I get when I am in contact with you special people. It makes me realise that the next year there will be more blogs. More contact. xx

  5. I have just come back from Cairns; it was beautiful up there, although I didn’t have much time to enjoy the weather as I was helping my sister care for our parents who both live with her. We are incredibly lucky to have both parents still alive at 94 and 96. I often have mild panic attacks about what it will be like when they are gone. I expect I will be completely lost when the time comes. I am so glad you felt able to post. It’s good to hear from you. And I would really love to see Catherine’s headstone. Until then, my thoughts are with you. ( I lost a friend to cancer last September, too. Her family gave me one of her hand knitted sweaters. I keep it on my computer chair and put it around my shoulders when I feel sad about her. 🙂 )

  6. Hi Gallivanta, lovely to hear from you. Wow, how wonderful that both your parents are alive at that age, but I suspect it has its difficulties. That is amazing that your sister is caring for them both full-time. Great that you hot yo spend time with them.

    I have a jacket of Stacey’s that I do the same thing with, and a dressing gown of Mum’s. I also have my Nana’d diamond ring that was passed on to Mum and then to me and Stacey’s sapphire and diamond rings next to each other on my right hand, and so I have the three of them with me all the time. I have also been wearing the earrings Kym (my other friend that passed away last year) bought me for Xmas that I only was given the day of her funeral – I’ve worn them every day since. It is lovely to be able to surround ourselves with special items that give you a true connection.

    I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on Mum’s headstone when I post it. It will be stunning, as individual as she was and well and truly worth the wait.

  7. Can’t wait to see Catherine’s headstone, it sounds great. You’re continually honouring your Mum with all that you do Kirrily. My thoughts are with you and the family. Kylie

  8. Your mum will be remembered by many of us I believe. She inspired me to continue with the Kelleher/ Rowan family history.

    • Hi Chris, that’s great to hear. Have you seen another Rowan pop up on the Of Scabs and Riots post? You haven’t found anything additional that would get me any closer to solving the Susan Kelleher before emigration riddle have you? I paid a heap of money last year at the Clare Heritage centre foolishly thinking they would uncover something Mum couldn’t and they came up with nothing. Very disappointing.

  9. Kirrily, It was only recently that I read a comment that your mother wrote on my blog that I ‘checked in’ to see if you had made another post and wondered how you were doing.

    It is hard to believe that 2 years has passed by already. You have certainly had a rough time of it. Hoping that the next two years are filled with good memories.

    • Thanks Sharon. Yes, she was larger than life and played such an important part in my life. It’s been very difficult to adjust.

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