Tuesday, 31 March 2009

There is sadness in his eyes

I am at Catherine’s 8th birthday party. Catherine lives at the top of our street and we are gathered in her front room, a sea of pretty party dresses; playing who can suck the fruit pastille the longest.

The phone rings. Catherine’s Mum, Maria, leaves the room. Five minutes later she returns looking drained, sad. She speaks to her friend and they both look at me and continue with the party games with instant cheerful faces. Their eyes tell a different story. I stop sucking my sweet and chew it, failing the game.

Fifteen minutes later the party finishes, a flurry of parents arrive to collect their children. I am in the front room with Catherine and a couple of others. Sitting by the window I can see my Dad walking up the drive. The doorbell rings and Maria opens the door. I leave the room and hover in the hallway.

Engrossed in their hushed conversation they do not see me.

Although close friends, I find it strange that Maria gives my Dad a hug and she tells him she is sorry. Why is she sorry? I squeeze past them unnoticed and stand on the step behind my Dad, ready to leave.

“Laura, your Dad is here” Maria shouts into the house.

“I’m here” I say from behind them. They look at me, at each other, then we all exchange goodbyes.

Maria gives me my party bag, I unwrap a yellow, sticky lollipop. We begin the short walk down the hill to our house. We talk about the party and then I ask Dad how Mum is. He ignores me or doesn’t hear my question.

“How is Mummy?” I ask again.

Nothing. He is looking straight ahead and walking faster.

“Daddy! How is Mummy?” I say louder this time.

Why won’t he speak to me?

He stops and bends down so that his eyes are level with mine. There is sadness in his eyes. Something is wrong, my Daddy looks different. He is holding my hand.

“Laura, Mummy has died” he says.

The lollipop falls from my hand and my legs feel like jelly, I want to be sick. I look at the lollipop lying on the floor; its sticky coating covered in grit from the pavement. I burst into tears. My stomach is churning; the pavement falls away from my feet as my Dad scoops me up and carries me home.

I am 9 years old, my Mummy has gone.


  1. This touched me and I am so sorry you lost your mum when you were so young. I am sure your mum would be very proud of you. Keep her alive in your memories of her. She is not gone, just out of sight.

  2. How awfully, dreadfully sad. Cant bear it for your nine year old self. The most massive hug imaginable is winging its way through the blog world to you. Bet you are the most loving mother. And that your own mother sees how you are and loves you for it. More hugs.

  3. I find it hard to imagine a child without their mum. It seems like the ultimate injustice. A mum is the centre of your world. I know my mum is everything. I cant imagine what it must have been like having your children without her. Your dad seems a very lovely man from what you have posted on your blog and he seems to be a wonderful father to you. It will always hold many questions in your head as to what could have been. I would hazard a guess that like your dad she would have been extremely proud. You are a very loving mother and that is a quality that will have come from you mother too even at the very young age you were. Those qualities were already there given to you with love from your mum. I dont expect that you will ever stop hurting about losing her and I suspect you also hurt for your dad too. Do value the short time with your mum even though it was nearly long enough. All little children need their mummys,even when those children are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Take care of you and your little ones.

  4. I was 31 when I "found out" my mom had died, and though I'm 48 now I can still remember everything about those moments when it seemed time stopped.

    I have a little girl in my class whose daddy died when she was seven. (My father has died too.) And it's very sad that she and I are kindred spirits this way--though her loss is much more tragic.

    My heart goes out to you, I wish it could help fill that hole.

  5. And now that you are a mom, I bet you miss her all the more. This is beautiful writing. I'm so sorry for your pain and loss. Wish it wasn't so.

  6. Laura - I've only just found this. You poor, poor thing. How awful for you. What a beautifully written post - really, really moving. It's really touched me. I love your other blog, but didn't know about this one until now. Big hugs, big kisses, and keep being strong. Yuor little ones are very lucky to have you x

  7. What a sad day for you, not to mention the sadness that lingered and continues to linger with you.

    Keep up the good parenting work - your mum is watching and smiling.

  8. I too grew up without my mom, though I did have a mom, she wasn't my biological mom. My mom died in a car accident just before I turned three ~ I know your sadness and your pain & I am very very sorry.

  9. Oh my God, Laura - have just found this. My father died when I was ten.....but this really touches me as my mother died just after Christmas.

  10. Just found this too, haven't had anyone pass away, but crying at the thought

  11. I am in tears again! I too found out my Mum had died on the road not far from our house, I guess my Dad just couldn't contain himself any longer. Such a brave lady to tell your story!

  12. Oh Laura. Tears upon tears for you. x

  13. You made me cry, I feel so sorry that this ever had to happen. If only I could turn back time and make things right I would. Much love

  14. I am so sorry to read that - still so raw. My sincere sympathies xx

  15. I can hardly write for the tears, so very sad. Thank you for sharing an obviously heartbreaking moment in your life.