Saturday 14 May 2016

Saturday 14th May - The Narrative of a Life

We had a tea party/reception to celebrate the life of my mother last Saturday. It was a good time, lots of friends and family getting together, some who had come to the funeral back in February, others who hadn't been able to come then.

Some of the "chat" was sharing memories, but a lot of the time was spent catching up with each other - which is just the sort of thing my mother would have enjoyed.

Although it was a cheerful and happy occasion, it was none-the-less emotionally tiring. As the weeks go by, I find that we are all putting together the separate pieces of the differing stories we have. My own relationship with my mother is characterised by the fact that it began forming when I was a baby, and that has coloured everything for the rest of my life. But my husband has only had an adult to adult relationship. Others knew her as a child, or as an older relative, or as a fun-loving member of the group of twenty-year-olds, all going to pubs and night clubs together back in the 1950s.

Assembling all these views and angles, encountering sudden surprises and insights, hearing "missing chapters" is fascinating stuff. In the end, we have to come to an acceptance of these differing narratives, melding them together to find the complex, creative, loving-and-giving person that she was, and has made us all to be in our turn.

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