When I was 16 years old I went to my first funeral. It was my mum’s and I wrote these words and said them to an overwhelmingly large amount of people to celebrate her life.
4 years on i’m still struggling and won’t ever move on. But here are the words to let you know that each day was worth the time I got to spend with her.
Standing here for me right now is hard, not just because it’s my mother’s funeral. But for Mom and I we have always had a problem with crowds. It’s kind of like the little thing that only we understood. Although growing up I didn’t understand her constant shaking and nerves around large amounts of people. I’ve come to understand how she use to feel and how she would stay strong through situations such as school subject choice meetings and social events. I’ve even had my own struggles with crowds. Constantly getting stage fright or nerves before presenting anything to anyone even if it is just in front of a few people I know. But standing here right now, I can say she’s with me and has given me the strength to stand here and speak.
This is a celebration, a celebration of memories and a celebration of my mom’s life.
When I think of my mom I think of bright bursts of life. A powerful woman, who knew how to strut the right colours on the right day, She knew where to shop and there is no doubt she knew where the bargains were. Growing up thrift shopping and bargain hunting with mom is something I will never forget, going through bargain bins and having to follow her every move to make sure there’s no discount that we’d miss. Is definitely something I’ll carry on doing throughout my life and I know especially her friends will always think of her whilst shopping in Millers or Ballentines.
She was the sunlight on a clouded day. The friend who was there, when no one else was. My rock, the one person I knew I could count on no matter what. Although I only knew her for 16 years which may or may not be longer then how long you’ve known her. Each day has felt like a thousand blessings. And I think as people, we never really realise this until something drastic like getting cancer happens to someone so dearly close to you.
I think everybody agrees that even right now being here. Mom is looking over us and hoping everyone is okay. She was and always will be the one who’d unconditionally love you no matter what.
Throughout moms battle with cancer I admit my relationship with her grew stronger as I realised that any day could be her last. We started talking about things that we’d never talked about before and my whole world was brighter as I realised even though she was the one who was ill, a smile would still constantly be on her face, as she was grateful to be alive. She lived everyday with or without cancer like it was her last. My mom would never let a day waste. Even when she shouldn’t have been going out and seeing people/ friends she’d push the boundaries to see them. Her high amount of energy is what kept her strong for such an amazingly long amount of time and seeing her be so strong for so long is what has inspired me to live my life with as much enthusiasm as she did.
Throughout her journey with cancer I’ve grown closer to my family and especially to her friends. She’s helped me realise the importance of people in our lives. I used to always think it would be better to keep more to myself, but through my mom I’ve found out being kind to strangers and accepting everyone is the way to go. Because you never know what path they’ll lead you in.
Something I know I’ll always miss about my mom is her enthusiasm and recognition for things which a lot of people didn’t see. Like once when I came home and I told her I got a merit in a test and she was so proud of me even though she knew it wasn’t the best grade. My mom held her pride for my brother and I, my dad, family and friends close to her heart and always recognised everything big and small and saw a need to celebrate. But most of all she understood my abilities and trusted my decisions. She would do anything she could to try make my dreams come true. My Mum believed in me through times when I couldn’t even believe in myself. She nurtured me and brought me up, to be the person I stand here today as and because of my Mom I’ve learnt to be proud to be that person.
I think the best memories I hold close to my heart of my mom are the really personal ones. Like when I actually got to be one on one with her and just talk. An example of this is when I first saw her in the hospice. I would just cry, cry, and cry wondering why this had happened to such a beautiful person. Sitting next to her trying to be strong but seeing her slowly fade away slowly breaking me inside.
I remember Dad telling me that it was one of her bad days today and she wouldn’t speak much because she was restless and her eyes would just keep closing. But through all of that I ended up having a whole conversation with her as I watched her battle against her tiredness to talk to me, her own daughter.
Mom as the caring person she was looked at me with both eyes open, held my hand and told me to be strong and not to worry because everything would be okay. She knew that this would be one of the last conversations we would share together and I knew it too but we both accepted this and still treated it as one of the happiest moments in our lives. A mother and daughter sitting side by side helping each other through the hardest battle we’d ever been through.
In that moment I knew I had to be strong, I had to help her fight and be that person to carry on what she was. Be the strength to people, help them and guide them just like my mom would do and it’s definitely something I inspire to do throughout the rest of my life. Be just as inspiring as my mom was.
I will always be proud to have been her daughter and to always continue to be her daughter. Not only will her looks stay with me forever, but our memories together and her bubbly, caring personality will always live within me.