My mother in law died this week. Although she had been ill for some time (a mantle cell lymphoma) generally she was coping well and it was a shock that she collapsed and died one night.
I have only known her for 15 years and she was in her 70’s when we met, but I loved her all the same. She was bubbly and sociable and loved fashion. She had adopted Julie as her English name so when I married Dave we shared the same name!
Now that she is gone there are small gaps in life. No need to pick up any extras at the supermarket. No excuse to pick up that copy of ‘Grazia’ – it’s for your mother honest! I needed a black dress for the funeral and I thought of all the times we had shopped together and I missed her.
So why am I not crying with grief? Where is the anguish I felt as a teenager getting dumped by my first boyfriend? Surely this is more important? Am I so selfish that I can only cry fro myself? Instead there is a mixture of feelings. Sadness that she is gone, missing routines, looking through old photographs and feeling nostalgia for a life that wasn’t mine. Concern for my husband, how vulnerable he seems having lost not just his mother but his last close relative and his link with Chinese culture.
So yesterday I went for a run. I thought that it might help me to tune in to whatever it was grumbling away in the depths And it did. I found fear and resistance, I just don’t want things to change and I don’t want to accept the changes around me. Now I can understand why running helps. If you can push yourself to exhaustion then you can’t resist any more and you have to move on.
I don’t think my run helped me to come to terms with mum in laws death, but I did feel generally better after it sort of refreshed. Maybe just having some time out and being alone helped.
Anyway when I got home I got my kit out ready for the morning and this morning got up early to do a couple of miles. Sometimes I just need to think less and get on with it.