The difference between my dad dying and my mum dying is that now, I am constantly reminded of how involved she was in my life by all the signals of her presence from technology.
+ Her name appearing in my Skype contacts.
+ Her Wechat name appearing in my friends list.
She’s everywhere and while that can be some cause of comfort, right now it’s a provider of pain.
No longer can I spontaneously Skype her when I see she’s online because, of course, she never will be online again. And yet I look at her contact details over and over again praying that will change.
I can no longer send her emails with pictures of Otis because she can no longer see them or read them … even though I have a huge compulsion to still send them.
And worse of all, I can no longer call her to give her some innocuous piece of news or just say hello.
When Jill flew to be with me after Mum died, she rang to say she had arrived safe and sound. She told me Otis, our son and my mums only grandchild, had been a dream on his first ever flight and hadn’t cried once.
I immediately wanted to tell mum. I knew she’d be interested and would be incredibly happy they were in England only for me to remember I couldn’t. She has passed away. And that brought back the pain tenfold.
Of course I could delete my Mum’s contacts. I could be free of this tyranny of constant reminders but I can’t. Doing that would feel like I am denying her existence or worse, trying to erase her wonderfulness from my life.
Without doubt technology made me feel closer to my mum while I was living so far away. Right now it just makes me feel more alone, apart and distraught.