Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Superficial And Frivolous - Dealing With Death Part One

I have been using makeup and facial products forever and it is a big part of my life, so why would I struggle with it being superficial and frivolous. Why would I have an issue with doing a post on something that is a huge part of my life. It was not the first post that has been about makeup, nail polish or other products, so why was I feeling like that. I certainly don't believe bloggers who post about makeup and beauty products are frivolous and superficial. Yes there are plenty that are just pages and pages of advertorials passed off as interesting articles, but I don't read them, they have their purpose for other people.

The issue is my personal issue and does not relate to anyone else or any other blog. I have had a flood of thoughts of what I went through after Clint's death - immediately afterwards and months afterwards. These things are always at the back of my mind - they are always there, but sometimes they pop up right at the surface and I am consumed with those thoughts. One of which was makeup and nails and beauty routines being frivolous. I need to work through all that stuff again and barring going back to my psychologist, I am hoping writing will help me deal with these thoughts. You may not want to read these posts as they are very negative and they are about death and all the ugliness thereafter and how people just don't know how to deal with a grieving mother/parent. All these posts will refer to the grieving mother, because I am a mother and it is what I went through, but it does not exclude fathers.

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Clint had just died and we had to deal with arranging his funeral - no mother ever expects to do that. Whilst we were at the funeral place choosing a coffin, I want to get sick just thinking of those words. I kept getting a frantic phone call from a person, who I was once very close to, but years and years had passed that we were not in contact. She is 9 or 11 years younger than me, but from when she was very little we were close and it was a kind of, I look out for you - you look up to me kind of relationship. Once she became an adult, we had different interests, I had a child, she still does not have children or even a long term relationship. She was pretty, slim; very clever, financially well off, she has some real issues, but that is besides the point. Getting back to the phone call - it was neither the time or the place to get into long lost conversations, but she left a message that she had to speak to me urgently about a dream she had. It is amazing how many people have dreams about your child dying that they only tell you about afterwards.

She came to the funeral, but I never saw her and then she contacted me afterwards and she came around to our house. She said two things to me that at the time, I was so numb that I just accepted it as normal conversation. She was moving overseas and leaving her cat behind with her mom and was so conflicted about it, but knew I would understand and know what it felt like, because Clint had died. Mark and everyone else who heard this were horrified - I was numb and it did not penetrate my traumatized mind at the time. She came to see me to "comfort" her issue with her cat and not to comfort me during my time of grief - that was very clear afterwards. I love my animals and I know she has issues, but to say that to a mother who just two days earlier cremated her child was beyond issues. It even had an impact on me when our beautiful loving dog, Rambo died 15 months later and I could not even feel sad that this great big gentle giant had died as well.




When your child has died, the last thing you want to do is entertain people, but at the same time, you feel obliged to be grateful for people reaching out to you in your time time of grief. So T came around a few times or phoned and spoke mostly about herself and her problems and leaving her cat behind when she moved overseas. I just pretended to listen, because my heart was broken in a million pieces and all I could think about was when Clint was going to walk through the door. The last time I saw her she said "Why don't you do your nails - I always have a facial and manicure when I am feeling down"  Granted she had no idea what it was like to have a child and had even less of an idea of what it was like for your child to die.  Your child - you loved him and his brother more than anything in the whole world and he was gone just like that and a facial would make you feel better. When she said it, I did not react - it was another one of those conversations that would just hover at the edge of my broken heart and spirit, but it has had its effect on me.

Cleansing and makeup etc, was a part of my everyday routine. It was part of showering and getting dressed, so yes I put makeup on, on days that I showered and got out of bed, but it took years, before I painted my nails or even filed them. It took years before I did more than the basics. It took over a year before I actually did more than wash my hair and towel dry it. I never went to the hairdresser in over a year. I did not have the energy and interest and her words cut into me over and over. It was like a blunt object stabbing at my heart and my conscience, My son's death could be swiped away with a flick of nail file and some nail varnish.

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I have not seen or heard from her since. I think she sent me a few messages, moved overseas, did not like it AGAIN, moved back less than 3 months later.  About a year later, Facebook became a thing in South Africa, she sent me a friend request of this thing called Facebook that I had not heard of, maybe less than a year later and I declined the invite and we have had no contact, but her "consoling words" have never left me. They are there all the time - making me feel awful all the time.

It is also a reminder that people have no idea what hell grieving mothers go through - what little insignificant triggers just rip open the wound that will never heal. What things you should just not say and the impact those things have on you




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