By AMY LEHPAMER
I’m a 26 year old from Melbourne. I lost my mum two weeks ago.
Grief should be simple: it’s a transaction. You lose something and so you grieve. Only it’s not simple because it’s never a fair trade. The something we had was a someone we held, loved and considered integral to the way our life was led. They go and what’s left is a cacophony of emotions, a bunch of clothes and photos and a terrifying notion that you might be okay without them.
Grieving is surrendering a part of myself to a change that I don’t want to make. But I have to. And for me, the hardest part of grieving is this overwhelming urge to change myself into something better.
My beautiful mother is no longer a phone call away. When she was – most days I didn’t make that call. I don’t think I ever told her she was beautiful. I never really knew what it meant to not have her, even though my headstrong stubborn streak assumed I didn’t need her years ago.
I know my mum knew me better than I ever gave her credit for and she learned all these things about me without me saying much. For all the maturity I thought I had, I realise that when it came to mum, I was always very much a child. I know that in so many ways I am like her but I didn’t know what to say to her as cancer whittled her life away. I made these little fantasy plans in my head, had the idea of getting mum to narrate her life story to me, then I could write a reflection on what it was like to hear it. I had almost worked up the courage to ask her if that was a good idea but I didn’t see how sick she was and time literally ran out.
I wanted us all to gather around and tell her all the things we would say in her eulogy. I know she knew I loved her but I don’t know if she knew how much.