Really? Or maybe it can be. I saw this sign the day after the anniversary of the death of my mum. A day that comes around like a sledgehammer smashing any happy feelings out of me. Making me feel so down that all I want to do is curl up in bed and not see or speak to anyone ever again. The phone rang all day, messages and text came in, really nice ones, but I just didn’t want to deal with any of it. I just want that day to go away, but it never will. I REALLY hate anniversary, why do we need them? It’s not like any day goes by without thinking about my mum, and I don’t think it ever will. So why do I need a day that only concentrates on the fact she is dead and I miss her? I miss her everyday of my life, more now then ever, as more days go by it’s longer since I’ve seen her, and that’s never going to change. The fact that we as humans want or need this day once a year to remember someone confuses and annoys me. These strange formal social rules that exist, that don’t work in peoples favour. I mean I totally understand big structured official memorial days where people can feel some kind of unity in shared grief, but having a day where I feel obliged to feel crap for everyone else to feel better is shit. Everyone comes out the woodwork when it’s the anniversary, and I’m sure it’s nice to have a day to remember for them, but when it’s your mum it’s different. I don’t need an annual date to remember my mum, it never leaves me. So when the anniversary creeps back into my life, any nice thoughts or memories that have started in my head are knocked out by remembering what happened this time two years ago. I see the vision of her dying in my arms, I recount every moment in that day, and every day leading up to that, and what’s the good in that? It’s self-inflicted torture.
But seeing this sign the next day made me think, maybe a little pain IS good for you? Ever since my mum died I’ve been able to feel my emotions more than I ever have. I’ve learnt how to feel the difference between emotions, and slowly how to process and managed them. I’m still learning big time. But pain is such a strong emotion, but you can mould it, and use it for other things. I find I write best and take better pictures when I’m feeling pain, and I think most people do. All the best songs in the world were not written when the person had no problems or heartache in their life, all the best lyrics come from dark places. So I’m learning to not fight it anymore, pain is always going to be here, I have no choice, it’s just what I do with it.
This month has brought up so much pain; the anniversary, the selling of my mums house, the having to put down my mums cat, visiting her ashes, seeing her friends and feeling such a loss with her not there, being in New York revisiting her childhood, and then the other day being interview about my project about my mum dying and having to recount the painful days I had let go of and then the guilt of these personal moments being published in a major Saturday newspaper magazine. On some days it felt like I couldn’t take anymore, I just wanted to lock myself in my room and not deal with it all, and then in other ways it may me feel more passionate about taking photos. All the new projects I’m starting are all about this pain, these memories or emotions I am carrying around, and it drives me on. I was thinking today that I have not felt bored for years I can not remember the last time I was, I just don’t have space in my head for it, and I think pain is the cause of it, it keeps your mind forever active, and for that I’m grateful.