Last Sunday we lost Josh’s mum, Sue, to illness. On one of the most beautiful winter days this year she passed away in her home in Sydney. Even though she was very ill, it still came as a shock and it was way too soon for her to go.
‘She didn’t have to die’ was Josh’s words in the car on our way home from Sue’s house on Sunday afternoon. We had just sent her off to the funeral home, but it was as if it didn’t get real until then. It was as if the impact of it all just hit me. Josh just lost his mum, our girls just lost their farmor. I will never forget the way he said those words.
It was a long day. A surreal day. A very sad day.
Now farmor (Danish for grandmother) has gone to join uncle Muni, who we lost last year, on a star right next to his. That’s how we keep them alive in the minds of the girls – and sometimes I choose to believe in it too.
I hate admitting this and I can feel the guilt boiling in my mind when thinking about it, but I’ve mainly been annoyed and disappointed with Sue the past year. I won’t go into details, but since the illness got the better of her it has been hard and frustrating to watch from the sideline how she lost interest in us, her family and worst of all, herself. I guess it was so hard because we were missing the farmor that we used to know. We wanted her to come back but instead she seemed to get further and further away from us. Now she’s gone for good and the frustrations have been exchanged with sorrow and disbelief. And a tiny, tiny bit of relief. Because Sue’s pains and worries are gone. Hopefully she has found the peace she couldn’t seem to find here in the end.
THE GOOD MEMORIES
One thing that I learned about myself last year when I lost my brother was that I grieve by reminiscing all the good and happy times I’ve had with my deceased loved ones.
I have gone through exactly the same process this past week. All the afore mentioned frustrations are no longer dominant in my mind when I think about Sue. They are irrelevant now. My mind goes back to the good times we had with her. Because even though we didn’t get enough good years together before the illness took her body and soul away from us, we still have a lot of lovely, memorable stories to hold on to.
When Abby was a baby we regularly went around for family dinners. We swam in the pool. We sat around in the lounge room and heard stories about Josh’s childhood.
‘He actually broke both his legs when he was Billie’s age.’
We played board games. She came to visit us and we went surfing on windy days. Then we heard some more stories about Josh’s childhood.
‘Once he jumped off a lounge and broke both his legs. He was probably around Abby’s age.’
We had Danish Christmas together with my parents where we heard some more stories about Josh’s childhood.
‘Did you know he broke his legs jumping off a daybed when he was only two? Or was he only one? Maybe he just turned three? Anyways, he broke them. And he got a board with wheels on to push himself around on. He was way to heavy to lift with the casts and everything (he was a little bit chubby too).’
We had lots of good times. We really did. They keep popping up in my mind every day and in the years to come I hope Josh will tell us many more stories about his mum. Our farmor.
Because as sad as it is that we don’t get to have more happy times with her we will try our best to keep the memories of the ones we had alive. Especially for the girls’ sake. They still have a farmor. She’s just up on a star looking down at us now. Probably telling stories about Josh’s childhood to the other guys up there – they probably already know that Josh broke both his legs when he was a little boy. If not it’s definitely only a matter of time before they will.
We will miss her. And we will miss her stories. Who would have thought 🙂
In this time of grief we really have been amazed by the people around us who have stepped in and helped in different ways. Family and friends have supported us from near and far. We’ve had good friends looking after the girls during the week and even doing the shopping for us – without us asking for it(!) We’ve gotten cards, messages and flowers from so many people showing their respect and it is all so very much appreciated.
We hope that we can give it back somehow someday ❤