You have given me a wonderful childhood and the courage as an adult to venture into the world, to be strong. You have always loved me and I adore you beyond measure. My poetry is inspired by my lovely life. Thankyou.

Standing proud, little jewels adorn the washing line, waiting for me to set them free. They leap and twirl like acrobats of the high trapeze. Silver threads catch every bit of light that comes my way, and I hear them giggle in anticipation of the day. The hunt for brightly patterned eggs and church bands parading throughout South Shields, with banners high and trumpets loud. So it was in my day. As vivid and refreshing now as Mam’s homemade lemonade.

The buzzing of bees and a lazy bluebottle hum a distant tune as sunshine sparkles and glints its way into every single room. Best china sits in regal splendour 'mongst a thick perfume as, pink cheeked with oven heat, we take our seats to feast upon the delights of a lovely afternoon.

The throng of family to a child is indeed a most wonderful thing. I miss the lively hearing aids, busy pinnies serving homemade bakes. Wispy chins of a bygone age. Lipsticks chattering, high-pitched squeals. Bottom drawers, precious things. White tablecloths, handmade, decorative lace. Linen napkins to be placed. Silverware adorning a table laid. Crystal jugs housing milk and cream. Perfumed roses holding centre stage. The ticking of time as we embrace the auld folks of Shields.

Climb inside. Curl up. Lay your head and slide into favourite old nursery rhymes, tattered now and tired. Aged, faded with time. Saturated with smiles. Now return to your child.

To climb inside a world where angels and fairies dwell. Dressing up in Mam’s old shoes, tottering, feeling very grown. You reign supreme in your domain of makeshift tents and sandcastles. Waking with dreams still in your grasp, relishing the threads as they dwindle and pass. Winter nighties, truly bold. Hot water bottles burning toes. Aunties with their treats in store, pinnies bold, lipstick galore. Always new concoctions to try, fermenting rose petals in jam jars nearby. Rags in hair trussed up at night to give you bold new curls. The perfect ballerina in pale pink ballet shoes. With Santa and the Tooth Fairy yours to keep forever. Creeping downstairs for midnight feasts. On a mission for party treats. The fridge a magnet for little feet.

A spirit untamed with sparkling eyes and gappy smiles. Baking mud pies under summer skies. Carrot tops and flowerpots. Wispy hair in cotton smocks.

A magical merry-go-round of beautiful horses and dancing gazelle in shades of pastel and cotton candy.

Tradition steeped, of a bygone era. A rich and vibrant tapestry of brightly coloured crochet blankets made over time, passed down from Grandmother to Mother to Child. Knit one, pearl one, learning to knit on the doorstep at home. A vibrant tapestry enriched by the measure of time. Your wisdom a precious commodity to be passed down to a generation bound up in laughter and idyllic daydream.


Dear Christine51
How wonderful to read your poetry, you have a wonderful way with words and I was able to imagine I was there. So lovely,
thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry for your loss.

she would be proud and so happy she had a daughter who cared SO much.

Such heartwarming words, thoughts and memories Christine. You describe so well the very essence of the life you shared with the pal of your childhood days, your wonderful Mam. Thank you for bringing similar memories to mind. I passed through South Shields last week, with the golden sands still adorning the pavements from the last storm…Sandancers braving the North Easterly with their bonny hats and scarves from Santa! Thinking of you, :rainbow: xx

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Thank you. I’m finding it so very hard without her. I was not able to do any of Christmas. My mam was the essence of Christmas. I made my memory tree but I’m too upset to do any more. I miss her so much. x

You’ve done your absolute best in the most difficult of circumstances and time of year. There’s support for you when you need it, right here x

Thank you. I feel so desperately unhappy and lost without her here. I’m glad Christmas is over. I spent it on my own. Whatever I do feels like filling in time. I can’t finish my tree because I’m too upset. I can’t look at her picture because I can’t stop crying. I wish I could have spoken to her before she was on morphine in hospital, tell her how much I love her and how devastated I am that she’s not here. I miss her so much. I don’t understand how anyone moves forward from this. x

I feel how overwhelmingly unhappy you are…how you feel you will not be able to move forward. I know that the sheer depth of your grief mirrors the love you have for your lovely Mam. She knew how much you loved her in life and how you love her still. It’s about being in the moment…it’s about seeking out those who can offer you support right now. Please look after you, :rainbow: xx

My therapist says I’m being really hard on myself, feeing guilty that I didn’t tell her I loved her before she died but we didn’t know she had cancer until she was told in the hospital and then she didn’t come home. I just feel so overwhelmed by her not being here. I miss her so very much. x

I was also told that I was being too hard on myself…my husband had been close to death previously and came home…I didn’t want to frighten him and discuss death or be overly emotional (which happens to me so easily).
So the conversations that I think about now in my head, just never happened before he passed away for lots of reasons really. The sense of being loved is so strong…you and your Mam are bonded, in life and death. This is so so hard Christine but believe in your Mam, you know they have this knack of knowing things about us, before we do. I understand the guilt…still have it every day in either small ways or ways that can rock my being. We are the way we are, to try and be otherwise doesn’t work. Keep in charge of your physical being and allow your mind time to work things out, that’s being kind to yourself. Thinking of you, :rainbow: x

Thank you. What you are saying makes sense. I get so overwhelmed by missing her and wishing I could have made the last time count. I feel so lost and alone without her. I’m not usually an emotional person. I like to be organised and in control generally. Being at the mercy of loss has left me paralysed with no sense of direction. My sisters have both said I was always mam’s favourite (I’m the eldest) and that gives me a sense of comfort (I know it must appear selfish but I’m desperate for anything I am told about mam). I didn’t have children and don’t have that maternal instinct. Mam was always looking out for me and our relationship didn’t evolve from parent / child. But for years I was the one who helped with the garden or did whatever jobs were necessary. I was always present. So my time with mam was real and every day. I miss our time together before she became unwell. I didn’t see how unwell and that’s why I feel guilty. I should have been more than who I am. I should have been more like my sisters. I miss her so much. I know we can only be who we are but it doesn’t stop the ache. I feel like I wasn’t enough. I know it’s silly because I know mam loved me and was proud of me but I just don’t feel that about myself and I think that’s why I’m so hard on myself. I just wish she hadn’t left me. I feel totally broken. x

You have helped me to see what I am doing to myself. Thank you. To blame myself for whatever I can is easier than having nothing to grasp. It’s like I have never had to grow up and mam was always there. I’m so sorry you have lost your husband. Sending you love xxx


I once read that many are not women until after the loss of their Mam…that would be true for me too. She would have been my true support as I grieved for my husband but she had died a couple of years previously. I was also considered the ‘favourite’ albeit I am the youngest. Thank you for your kindness too…whilst I’m not from Shields, I’m not too far down the coast and recognise a kindred spirit, x

I wish I had talked to her more instead of focusing on things that don’t matter now. I miss her so much. Everything that mattered to me before means nothing now. I started watching a programme about Spring and realised she’ll never plant her bulbs again or see them come up. I can’t bear that she isn’t in the world. Everything is a reminder of her being gone. I wish I’d made more of an effort to do things she liked, sort through old photos and do the family tree. I ran out of time. I’ve always worked hard to achieve at the expense of enjoying normal stuff. I wish I wasn’t so driven. Maybe then I would have made more memories with mam to hang onto now. I don’t know how you can lose your mam and then your husband. I’m so sorry. My life has shattered into tiny pieces. I can’t imagine how you must feel or how you get up each day. It really is like being part of a club, being broken. I didn’t realise life was as good as it was going to ever get before. It’s just empty now, even with my family for support. Nobody else feels raw like I do. Why is that? It’s a natural state of being. I’m not trying hard to grieve. It feels unbearable. I wish I wasn’t able to feel anything. My dad says I’m too extreme in everything I do. I wish I wasn’t me. x

I too focused on the good life I had had with my loved ones and constantly compared it to the life I was left with, after they had gone. I had never known a life without my husband…met at 16 and married at 19. So I’ve become accustomed to grieving…it is a big part of me. However, alongside it my family & friends chip away to give me new memories with them. I often try to think about what my Mam or husband would have said to me, in difficult situations.
I’ve read on here many times that we always want more or to have done more…it’s a common feeling so please try not to compare how you are feeling right now. Words from others can be very debilitating in our extremely vulnerable state; maybe park them for now and continue to get through each day, in your own way…with your Mam’s love tucked inside your heart, :rainbow: xx

I love your expression - my mams love tucked inside my heart. Thank you. I’ll carry that with me from now on. I keep seeing her in the chapel of rest with my little buddha placed in her purple fingers. I hope she is safe and not alone wherever she is. It’s the not knowing what is happening to her that is the hardest of all. If we knew I think we could move forward because we could understand it. I hope she is with her parents in a lovely summer garden or being reborn into a lovely family. My mam was a very kind and loving person. She deserves to be happy wherever she is. I miss her so very much. I can’t imagine how you have moved forward after losing your husband when all you have known is him. You are very lucky to have had a happy marriage. Do you feel lost after losing your loved ones? All I could manage today was feeding the birds. I never used to watch tv during the day because I was so busy. Now it’s a way of filling in time. Otherwise I would just sit there. I’m sure I’ll get to a point where I make an effort to do something but I’m not able to yet. I feel stuck. But I’ll carry mam with me, tucked inside my heart. Thank you xxx

One thing I had so much of is time but nobody to pass it with. Overthinking led to mountains out of molehills. I wanted to belong and share people’s lives because I felt I no longer had one of my own…completely lost! Time had to be dealt with and so when I felt able, I began the process of taking a small part in the world again.
A daily diary full of my unspoken chatter helped enormously and on special occasions a letter contained what I needed to say, to move the day on. I loved to hear that you fed the birds…a connection. May you find moments of peace in your day, :rainbow: xx

Hi Rainbow, you are very perceptive. I do feel like my life is so empty that I am disconnected from the world, totally alone and isolated without my mam. I used to keep a diary when I was young. Think I’ll order one now, a page a day just for mam. I had planned on spending Boxing Day with my sister and her family but they got covid and so I have been alone over Christmas and it made me realise how alone I actually am. I was quite content when I was busy and would tell mam about my plans. She is everything to me. That’s why I’m so lost without her. I have no balance now. And because of the rain I can’t tidy the garden. That would give me some comfort. Everything stopped when she went into hospital so I still have the trellises to finish putting up and gravel stones on the patio. But then I feel like I’d be moving on from her if I did those jobs. I’m so very sad that she’s gone. I miss her so much. Thank you for your kindness. I’ll order that diary now. x

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