Running and grief

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.

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About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in fitness, half marathon, middle aged women, novice, running, sensitive people, time management, Uncategorized, weight loss, work life balence. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Running and grief

  1. pwhent says:

    I am sorry to hear about the death of your Mother-in-Law Julie. I have lost my Father and Father-inLaw in the last few years – I hesistate to say that I know how you feel because we all handle grief differently. But I know the feeling of loss you are experiencing. When someone dies at a ripe old age, as it sounds like your Mother-in-Law did, I find it difficult to put my feeling of loss to one side and do what I should do, which is to celebrate a long and happy life.
    Running is a constant in your life and it is not surprising that you turned to it like an old friend when you wanted to reflect.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thank you for your response. Like you say when someone who is old dies, you can look back and celebrate all the good things about their life. My mum in law had a good life so there’s lots to be glad about.

  2. elainewaine@hotmail.com says:

    So very sorry to hear about your lovely mum in law; I too was blessed but sadly lost her back in 1994 at the young age of 60; and I still miss her and have my moments…. I suppose that is the point Julie, as we get older we realise that our grief will come and go as it pleases, without warning, for the rest of our days; so there is no rush or right time. The sadness will be joined by the memories and the joy you shared, and in my opinion there is no greater tribute! I bet she was so very proud of you! Xxx

  3. pauldavies says:

    Commiserations. I thought better of liking your blog this time as it did not seem right.
    I’m sure there will be plenty of more to like in the future.

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