By Tracey Herring

It’s been just under a month since we said our last goodbyes to mum.

Despite the boyfriend’s pleas that I don’t talk about it (to the world that is; he’s been a rock and is a great listener) apparently I am being morbid. I am single-handedly depressing and boring the blogosphere. I thought I’d go ahead and do an update anyway .. on life.

Life after mum.

Firstly nothing seems real and I’m finding it hard to motivate myself to do anything.

I’m constantly tired. If I sit down for 5 minutes, I drop off for 10.

It feels like the only person who really ‘got me’ has gone and it makes me feel terribly alone.

Grief is a strange one. Nobody really prepares you for it basically because nobody really talks about it … only me apparently and I’m a boring old fart!

People comment. It’s what we do. People talk but don’t always think?

They tell me I’m bearing up well, that I don’t cry as much as they thought I would. This in turn leads me to worry that I’m not grieving properly. I question should I cry more? Am I coming across as though I don’t care?

What they don’t see is the girl who cries herself to sleep at night. The girl who has recurring nightmares and wakes up in a panic, sweating and calling out her mum’s name. The random tears that come out of nowhere.

They don’t feel the constant ache in my stomach; the one that yearns for my mum’s company – a conversation, a cuddle. Just to hear her voice.

What they do see is a smiley, happy girl. The one with the new fringe. One that sings daft songs to her dog. The one who still posts #OOTD on Instagram, that jokes about her bingo wings and camel’s toe.

That doesn’t make sense? Her mum only died a month ago.

Like I say nothing makes any sense whatsoever.

What exactly am I supposed to be?

Mum’s gone but I still feel her presence around me and while that’s a great comfort it’s also a major frustration. I want to see her physically. I want to hold her hand and tell her how much I love her. I want to giggle over something only her and I would find funny.

I smile yes, I also ache.

I miss her.

Somebody said the other day that they wish heaven, like jail, had visiting hours. If only. I’d be there in a shot.

What I’ve learned about grief is that there are no rules. It’s personal, it’s your own journey. It comes in waves. It’s like your swinging on the end of a yo-yo.

One minute you’re on a high and you feel ok. The next you hit a low and are reduced to a jibbering wreck.

You can’t control it.

It is what it is…


As a family we are doing ok, we hold each other up. Like a set of ‘Weeble-wobbles’ when one starts to totter over we catch them, set them straight again.

We are making do because basically, we have no choice, that was taken out of our hands. Mum’s last words to us also ring in our ears. “Don’t cry for me for too long, please go and live your lives. “

I’m not for one minute saying that this is going to be easy. We have lots of big hurdles to get over.

Birthdays, Christmas, and what would have been Mum & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary next month. That’ll be a tough one, as will Christmas.

Christmas without mum – unthinkable. Mum was Christmas.

I realise nothing will ever be the same again. This makes me so sad.

I also realise that life does go on (I wish I’d got a pound for every time somebody’s said that to me) and while it’ll be different it doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be good.

I kinda figure we have got two choices. We either fall to pieces or we pick ourselves up and fall together.

I choose the latter knowing full well it’s what mum would want, and we all know mum knows best …

This article first appeared on the Naughty Forty Diaries blog and Tracey has kindly allowed us to republish it here. 

You may also like What To Do When Someone Dies and  “I Want Balloons” Planning Mom’s Funeral – With Mom


Tracey Herring is a wannabe writer. She loves fashion but has no formal training. She’s often found with her head in Vogue. She knows a lot about nothing so she’s maybe not the best person to ask for fashion advice. However some of her outfits might hopefully inspire you… especially her bag-lady chic. She is one half of the Naughty Forty Diaries blog.

Last Updated on February 1, 2023 by Editorial Staff

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