2016 isn’t a year to be a music legend.
The beautiful Prince passed away earlier this week and it’s a time of sadness, social media tributes, radio stations playing more Prince then they ever have before, and an overflowing of grief surrounding the loss of someone who appeared to be a beautiful, gentle, talented man. Appeared to be, because I didn’t know him personally. Safe travels, Prince.
It’s these “famous” deaths that send me into thought overdrive.
I have written before about feeling shocked that there was no announcement on the News when mum died. No minute of silence, no profile picture filters. 13 years ago today and the world has kept right on turning.
You can grow a teenager in the amount of time mum has been gone for. I don’t know why you would, personally, but you could. Isn’t that stunning – a baby could be born, grow to be a toddler, start school, finish school, hit high school – all in the time that my mum has been gone. It’s probably not stunning for you, because most of you didn’t know her. But I knew her, as well as any of us know our parents. I knew her and I love her and I miss her.
But while I grieve her, every day, I don’t live by my grief.
This is a hard definition to make. And I’m certainly not saying it is the way to deal with grief. But it’s the way I am doing it, because in the end we can only live the way it works for us.
While I’d give anything to have her back, anything to have known that her last day was her last day, anything to have had just one day more with her – none of this is possible.
But what is possible, is to hold her in my heart. To learn from her life. To cherish the people I have around me, and to ultimately remember how extraordinarily fortunate I was to have her.
Her favourite colour was turquoise, by the way. Thus the title of this post.
This is a fact I shared at her funeral service. I did a Bible reading, I can’t remember what it was but as I stood up in front of a church full of people on one of the worst days I can ever imagine, I looked out into a sea of grief. Friends, family, strangers. All with the same combination of grief, shock and pity on their faces. And I did what I do best: summoned my inner awkward.
“I’m going to do the Bible reading now. But before I do, I just want to tell you that Mum’s favourite colour is turquoise. So I am wearing turquoise undies today.”
There was laughter. There were more tears. But in that moment we were united by love.
And that is what we need most right now.
Safe travels, Mum.