Holly Honeychurch

Holly Honeychurch

It's Hard To Believe - Your Mum Getting Old

This woman has been with me my whole life. Growing up she looked after me with her whole heart. She protected me. Now I’m protecting her. Because she’s getting old. In her body. And mind. Things aren’t working as well anymore. It’s hard to believe - your mum getting old. It doesn’t seem possible. Time’s passing. Life moves on. I’m now a grown up. Yikes (I’m not really).

I’ve been staying with her this past week helping her make useful choices, positive choices. Giving her strength like she used to give me. At the top of the agenda has been decluttering her entire house because she has so. much. stuff. And I’ve been living in it. Everyday. It’s crazy. Chairs everywhere. So. many. chairs. How many chairs does one need in a house? Lots apparently. There’s not a single surface/floor space to put anything down. Everywhere is covered in trinkets, bowls, glasses, books, cushions, boxes, bags, stuff. It’s a process to accept you don’t need everything, everywhere. I find it overwhelming. My head spins with objects. If I put something down, like my phone, it’s like a Where’s Wally scene trying to find it again. When you’ve lived in conditions like this for so long, you get used to it and forget there’s a world out there where space exists. Never underestimate space I’ve told her in so many different ways. Never underestimate how free you’ll feel. How you’ll be able to breathe again. She’s finally realising this. I’m so glad.

We realised that she’d made a bad financial decision six years ago. In secret. Without any family member present. As a vulnerable widow she basically signed her house over to a terrible equity release company and will eventually have nothing left due to compound interest. So she has to move house and start again before she loses everything. I have to see it as a gift. A chance to free herself from the burden of this house where there is so much history and so many memories and a hell of a lot of DUST!

I’m getting her excited again about a new adventure. She’s always liked those. Even at 75 she can still get her mojo back. She’s got a great mojo when she’s laughing and light hearted. I know leaving all her clutter behind (and everyone else’s she’s inherited) will make her soar.

This week has been life affirming for us all. I’ve given her her power back. She doesn’t need to hoard and feels supported - she’s gradually creating a space to breathe. I’ve learnt to be more patient and accept that I can’t change and control everything. Somewhere we meet in the middle. With love. And if that doesn’t work, we just have a good shouting match which soon dispels the annoyances, bringing us back to smiles, tears, truth and hugs. A cathartic week it has been. Definite therapy.