A letter to Mama

Today would have been my mothers 64th birthday, her first since she unexpectedly died almost a year ago so I thought it was high time that I caught up with her and updated her with some of my news and thoughts.

Dear Mam,

it’s been almost a year since I wrote to you on that very sad day when I came to see you.  I think about you every day and love you so very much.

It has been a funny old year without you.  I’m glad that you saw me decide to set up my own business.  It is beginning to take off in leaps and bounds and I have several tours lined up for just next week which should be fun.

My writing is coming on well and as you can see, my blog is still going strong even without its biggest fan.  You wouldn’t believe the hundreds of messages I received in the weeks after you died.  As you would say, there are still lots of nice people in the world.

I published two books last year, one dedicated to you of course and another that went on to become an Amazon best-seller.  I’m sure you would have been very impressed.  Just this week I am finishing of my ww1 history book too.

Last summer was very lonely without you and Emilia missed not having anyone to surprise her and have a quick Pimms with.  The weather was actually very hot for much of the summer, I’m sure that you would have liked it for a few days and then complained that it was too hot!

We went on holiday to north Norfolk last September with Dave.  We had a lot of fun as it is very pretty and quiet there.  We went to lots of old country houses and had several picnics and stops at tea-shops.  One day we did nothing but go to old churches, they were all open for us to explore and Dave played some of the organs which Emilia and I loved as it was like having a private little concert!

We’d like to move there one year soon, once we sort out our money and decide what we want to do with our lives.  At one point we were looking at buying a run down holiday cottage in Normandy or Sicily for just a few thousand pounds.  Some didn’t have a roof or floors which is why they were so cheap, we would have called our holiday cottage Casa Susan.

We went to Paris in February, it was lovely and we walked miles every day.  Maybe in the autumn we might go to France or Belgium again and visit all the war sites.  If we do I’ll be sure I look up Reuel Dunn, I only found out a few weeks ago that he is buried near where I went about 10 years ago so I probably drove right past him.

We have been busy with our house and just after Christmas we finally got rid of the old owners woodchip wallpaper.  We got decorators in to do it and within minutes they had broke their tools!  Now we have a nice modern and colourful house all the way through with crimson and burgundy poppies and magnolia going up the walls which you would have loved.

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago we had bought you a birthday treat of tea and sandwiches at The Grove.  I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and I still have your thank-you card which you wrote just a few days before you died.  It must have been very Downton Abbey there.

I have been in the garden quite a lot this week.  I remember when you would visit, whatever everyone else was doing, you’d always come and sit with me in the garden when I was working.  This year I have planted strawberries, potato, parsnip, carrot, peas, beans, lettuce, pumpkin, leeks, onions, garlic and spring onions!  The rhubarb is growing fast and we have lots of blossom on the fruit trees which is lucky as several trees blew over last autumn.

Emilia says that she misses you every day and that sometimes she cries in the dark on the way to work.  I miss you too and think of you every minute of every day and as I work from home I don’t have to just cry in the dark.  For the first few weeks after you died I noticed lots of people who looked like you, at least from behind and I would hope or even expect that it was you but it never were.

I still have the last sandwich that you made for me that day you came round after your birthday.  I didn’t have the heart to eat it as it was all I had left of you so I have put it in the freezer.  Maybe I shall have it in 2 weeks time.

Everyone else says that they still feel that you are around but I have to say that I have never really had the feeling or maybe I do and I just miss you too much.  I still remember how when I came to kiss you goodbye that all the lights flickered off twice at just that precise moment which is all I need to know.  It’s funny as we used to talk about that sort of thing a lot with Grandma so I know that is your sign a long with a few other things I have noticed.

I still feel it is unfair that you have died so young, exactly the same age as Grandma.  Though I know many others do too and much younger, I can’t help but notice that most live at least until their 70’s or 80’s.  So I guess I feel sad for myself as well as for you.  Pretty much everyone I know who are older than you still have their mothers and a few have said how sad it was when their mother died recently and I think to myself that they are as old as you were and you had your mother all that time.

Can you believe it was my 40th birthday a few weeks ago?  I am sure that you would have got me the biggest card ever.  I miss the little bits and pieces that you used to bring round.  No one else seems to do that. Emilia saved up and got me an iPad Air for a joint Christmas and birthday present which I love.  I use it all the time, everywhere I go.  It was expensive but I get good use of it and you know me, I prefer few things that are really good than lots of rubbish.

We’re going out to celebrate your birthday tomorrow. We’re going to ‘Jimmys World Food Grill’, I remember I told you about it for my birthday last year.  They have such nice food from all over the planet. It is hard not to eat too much so I tend to concentrate on the Lasagne, Chicken curry and that sort of thing.

Do you remember how I used to stay up late and watch scary films with you even if you went to sleep before the end.  I’m not entirely sure a 5 year old should have watched Halloween but it was just the first of hundreds that I have watched since.  I don’t have anyone to watch them with now except for one or two friends.  Scary movies aren’t at all Emilia’s thing!

Do you remember when we watched The Sixth Sense?  I often think of that one scene where they the Cole’s mother finds out the answer to her question.

Cole Sear: [of his grandmother] She wanted me to tell you…

Lynn Sear: Cole, please stop…

Cole Sear: She wanted me to tell you she saw you dance. She said, when you were little, you and her had a fight, right before your dance recital. You thought she didn’t come see you dance. She did. She hid in the back so you wouldn’t see. She said you were like an angel. She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question? She said the answer is… “Every day.” What did you ask?

Lynn Sear: Do… Do I make her proud?

I’d do anything to have one last hug and tell you how much I love you.  Do you remember how I would be the only person who would give you a huge hug and lift you right up into the air every time I saw you.  However much I say, will leave even more left unsaid so I should finish here.

Thinking of you every day, give my love to everyone in Heaven and Ben the chien too.

All my love,  your number 1 son!

Stephen xxxx

PS You’re the best Mam in the world xxxx

For those who want to read the many messages any my original posts of nearly a year ago, they are here.

https://stephenliddell.co.uk/2013/03/29/grief-is-the-price-we-pay-for-love/

https://stephenliddell.co.uk/2013/04/27/saying-goodbye-to-my-mam/

Candle of rememberance

I love you with all my heart Mama and always will.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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30 Responses to A letter to Mama

  1. EBotziou says:

    Well this broke my heart. What a lovely tribute to your mum. I miss my nan everyday – she died at 68 two years ago and it’s funny because it seems that so many more things have happened since she died that she would have enjoyed/been proud of/laughed at, than any other time. But I am sure she is watching. As is your mum. So let’s continue to entertain them! 🙂

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  2. I’m sorry Ekaterina 😦 🙂 Yes it’s true so much seems to happen after they go. I’m sure your Nan would have been hugely proud of you. Yes we must put on a good show, we want to have lots to talk about when we next meet them hopefully many years from now.

    Thank you 🙂

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  3. I so know the feeling of being robbed. Mine 4 years ago, quickly followed by Dad who couldn’t be without the love of his life. I cry for you and I cry for me. Loss is so painful and I still haven’t worked out how to cope. Your Mam would be proud that you find a way to keep sharing and being part of the world. I am a Mam myself so I know! X

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  4. RIP to your beautiful mother, Stephen. xx

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  5. whatuful says:

    Wow it’s moving!

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  6. Writing from the loving heart, the message will be received….a wonderful energy, love.

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  7. Malla Duncan says:

    Beautiful post. And a salute to a beautiful lady. Thanks for sharing this. I lost my mum in 2011. She was 92. But it doesn’t matter what age you lose your mother, the memories are always poignant, sharp and bursting with a desperate love. And will be always.

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  8. Boyer Writes says:

    Your Mother is proud of all you are…never forget it. A Mother’s love is a special thing….and so is a son’s love to his Mother. She had yours and still does.

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  9. Stephen, that is so lovely. I started crying when I read about the frozen sandwich in your freezer. I don’t think I could bring myself to eat it, as I’d want it to be preserved forever.

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  10. nearlywes says:

    That was beautiful and very touching it actually got me crying at some point, I am emotional in a good way. I have been going through my parents divorce and though I am not trying to compare, this post made me realize I should talk to my mom more than I do. Thank you for writing this it was amazing.

    Like

  11. sarijj says:

    Such a sweet letter. It it obvious you wrote from your heart. Your love for your mum leaps off the pages.
    Oh and a belated happy birthday to you.

    Like

  12. Shalin says:

    Adorable it was. I wish that her soul rests in peace. 🙂

    P.S – You travel a lot, I envy you for that. It must been so much fun.

    Like

  13. aljm2713 says:

    I don’t know what your going through with your mother personally, but i am watching my mother go through this. My grandfather passed away last August. He was my mothers best friend, and more of a father to me than mine actually is. I am so sorry for your loss, this post brought me to tears. my mother is going through a hard time with her loss, she started blogging as part of her grieving process so my sister and I followed suit and all three of us started a blog. Your blog caught my eyes really cause last friday was my grandfathers birthday, he would have been 88. He was a very independent, stubborn, wonderful old man who’s death came very sudden and unexpected. Seeing your post about your mother really moved me. thank you for writing this beautiful post.

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    • Hi there, thank-you so much for you lovely comments. I’m sorry to hear about your Grandfather, I can imagine how hard it is for your mother and for yourself too.

      I think blogging is an excellent idea for you all to help work through this difficult time. I think it is particularly hard if a death occurs suddenly and unexpectedly as half of the sadness is due to not being able to say goodbye which somehow makes a difficult situation worse.

      I hope you and your family find peace through your blogging and hopefully meet a few more people who have been going through similar situations.

      It was my Grandfathers 98th birthday last week though he died when he was 72. I’m not sure how but hopefully I will be celebrating his 100th in 2 years time.

      I’m so glad you that you liked my post. Do keep in touch if you want to.

      Like

  14. BusyMaineMom says:

    What a lovely letter to your Mother! I lost my Mum when I was 13 and she, only 48. Even though it has been 30 years since then, I still think of her every day and miss her more than words could express. I “talk” to Muma often and I can always hear her words echo through my mind. It comforts me to have that remaining connection to her and I’m glad you have found a similar way to keep in touch. I loved the movie, “Sixth Sense” and that particular quote. I do feel the spirits of loved ones are still with us and bring us the messages that we need. My Muma sends hummingbirds to me and I’ve even had one flutter at the french doors while looking in at me as I worked at the table. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Thanks for your wonderful comment. That must have been awful to lose her at such a young age. I can only imagine what it must have been like. I think every one feels terribly when this happens but I am sure no-one has a good idea unless they went through it too.

      At least you have found a way to keep your Muma in your daily life. It’s nice to have that feeling that they are still around. I know that I never did do anything bad or even ambiguous but these days I always think that Mama would be disappointed if I did that or Mama would be pleased that I helped someone.

      The Sixth Sense is an amazing film, I haven’t watched it yet in the last year as I had enough issues to think over but I remember that scene and several others vividly. I do hope that is the case in real life 🙂

      Oh how lovely to have the hummingbirds. Mine sends Robins and blackbirds to see me, they often land just in front of me when walking or sit on the patio furniture looking in to the kitchen. Surprisingly they appear very often I am just thinking about my Mama or the birds themselves.

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  15. Beautiful tribute. I trust her spirit has received all the love from this letter. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  16. Pingback: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award | Stephen Liddell

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