25 May 2012


I am on the bus, having opted for a complete two-hour freedom. Freedom from parking, freedom from my daily mum routine. Just enjoying the rare british sun. I am relaxed, carefree holding my two new bottles of nail polish. I open them and get absorbed by the colour and the characteristic smell. The bus stops opposite a church. I love being on a double decker if I am not in a rush. I have all the time to observe and get lost in my thoughts. I turn to my right and see a lot of people gathered outside the church. They are wearing formal clothes and a few of them are crying. A funeral. I look at the faces of the people, certain that the lost one is a beloved grandparent. I look at a woman my age crying in desperation, wearing a formal hat which I find an odd thing to wear at a funeral. But then again I come from a different country I think to myself. I look inside the black vehicle parked on the side and see the coffin. It is unusual. There is a sea and a boat painted, some travelling theme. Then I realise. The coffin is not very big. My brain is fighting for me not to understand what is happening. I read "farewell from mummy and daddy". My brain can no longer trick me. I scan the crowd again. I see her. The mother. It is the mother wearing the odd hat. It is the mother crying tears of desperation. Her child is in that coffin. A part of her buried for ever. I now feel myself, a corporeal loss.The image is so gripping that I stop breathing normally and tears well up in my eyes. I was not prepared for this. I was not prepared to share in a random moment the crumbling life of another woman, another mother. She was burying her child and I was preparing to go pick up mine from the nursery.
I got off at the next bus stop to walk home, I needed to be outside. I started crying. I felt her loss. This small moment of realisation that all we love, all we have, all that we take for granted, we can lose.
I thought about motherhood and about my concept of Deconstructing Mummy. I had just experienced a literal deconstruction of a mother. I imagined her years later somehow moving on with her life. Maybe one day she will smile again. I know that most people do eventually handle their grief even if they are not the same again. There and then, just walking home on a sunny day having been shaken to my core, I decided to write on this blog more frequently and to tell short stories of motherhood. Motherhood happens everyday and its instants are priceless.

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