I’ll never see Mum again. But I’ve learned to live with Mother’s Day


I can’t remember the last Mother’s Day I spent with my mum. It would have been in 2013, since in August of that year she died, but the day itself is lost in the memories of all those that came before it. Those past Mother’s Days were a mad rush to buy a card and a bunch of flowers – lilies, always – the haphazard breakfasts in bed made with my brother when I was a child, and one year even writing a poem; the flowers must have all sold out.

In the six years since my mum has died, though, each Mother’s Day is now a looming presence, one that cannot be passed over and forgotten. Rather than fret over the day as a commercial inconvenience, as I did when she was alive, now it is something I grit my teeth through – a different kind of endurance test.

I remember the first Mother’s Day after she died the most clearly. I was at university in Bristol, away from my family, and felt the need to mark the occasion; otherwise I would be doing her memory some kind of injustice.

Read the comment in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 31/03/19]