Autumn is quickly becoming my favourite season. I must warn you though, I’m fickle when it comes to this. During most changes of seasons I’ll declare “I JUST LOVE (insert current season)!!” and then continue listing all the awesome things about said season. (I need to stop saying season)
I’m a huge fan of autumnal celebrations such as Halloween (Hocus Pocus IS watched every year) and Bonfire Night (please try Yorkshire Parkin – its the bomb) followed by the Christmas build up which I am ALL OVER! The change in colours in nature as well as the cosyness of dark nights, blankets and warming food all make for a delicious feeling right inside. I’ve recently been enjoying the current trend of ‘Hygge’ (pronounced Hue-guh). I hadn’t come across this wonderful word this year until I read about it in Culture Trip and now it’s my favourite thing ever (Again don’t take that literally…. see, fickle.) Hygge is a Danish attitude or way of life to get them through the winter months without becoming a sun starved misery guts. Esme (Culture Trip writer extraordinaire) describes it as ‘a feeling of coziness and comfortable ease’. Think simplicity, wholeness, fireplaces, scented candles (I’ve got a delicious one called gingerbread village… ugh. So. Good.), warm socks, hot chocolate – you get the drift. Catch the article here.
This week I’ve really felt the need to find comfort and warmth. Although I love autumn, October is a bitter sweet month for me as it marks the anniversary when my mum passed away. We all felt the sadness creep up as the date approached. For me, the passing of time was the oddest feeling – could it really have been a whole year without a mum hug or a chat on the phone? Time has flown by, yet it also feels like forever ago since it all happened. We all knew we’d want to be together for the day although, as we don’t tend to be the maudlin type, we were quite unsure at first on what to do with it. My brilliant dad then came up with the idea of ‘Pat-fest’ (we banded around a few other names for it; ‘Dead Day Celebrations’ was my personal favourite but I’m a sicko) – it would be a day full of walks, food, wine, music and most of all a time to talk, laugh or cry openly about mum without any reservation.
My family seriously are just the best – as much as we are all coping in our own ways, there is such a high level of respect, love and understanding from everybody. In that way, I couldn’t feel more supported. Going up on the train with the Boy, rather than feeling a sense of dread about Dead Day, I felt excited to spend time with my very favourite people. It sounds ridiculously obvious but no one can ever know your inner most feelings and thoughts – being open with people who are on your wavelength can be extremely healing. For me, it’s about someone listening to me if I want to talk and sharing their own feelings, without falling into the temptation of using cliches like ‘times a healer’ or the classic ‘Everything happens for a reason’.
This isn’t about the sadness leaving me. In fact I don’t want it to. In a world where only being happy seems to be the most important thing, people are forgetting it’s ok to ‘feel’ sad. It’s ok to feel anything as long as you understand that it always changes. Guess what it’s all about…. (ding ding ding!) balance again. Sad, Happy, Dark, Light, Up, Down – you need both. For me, grieving is about learning to live with the sadness and mum-shaped hole in me. It’s not a battle everyday to suddenly feel ok about it – just letting the feelings come and go, wash over me like waves and accepting them.
Dead Day came and went, and although it was an odd dull feeling – it was outweighed in some ways by the laughter, togetherness and openness of us all.
The rest of our time up there was super hyggely – we wandered down Haworth Main Street to look at the Halloween decorations, made boats with the kids and raced them down Bronte Waterfalls (the adults were mainly entertained by this…) and drank copious cups of tea.
I’m currently writing this post on my train to London with that feeling only family time (and the Yorkshire Moors) can give you. This years been tough…. but so are we.