With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I posted a piece called When Mother’s Day Feels Empty by Clara Hinton a few days ago.
I think Mother’s Day is going to be one of the hardest occasions for me to face. It’s a time when a mother thinks of her children, and it a time when those children show love for their mother (generally). But Mother’s Day has taken on a new meaning for me. It was the last time I saw Barry alive.
My family have always come together on Mother’s Day and gone out for lunch. Last year was no exception. Although we celebrated the day on Saturday instead of the traditional Sunday, because Gary and I were planning to leave on holiday on the Monday and we wanted to spend the Sunday at home packing.
In hindsight, I know Barry knew on that day that it would be the last time he would see my side of the family. I now know that Barry also knew it would be the last time he saw me. We all laughed and joked and had a wonderful meal. On the way home, Barry asked if I would drop him off at his mate’s place. I don’t know why, but I got out of the car and hugged Barry before he turned and walked up the driveway. That isn’t something I normally did. I knew he wouldn’t come home that night and I wasn’t really surprised that he chose to stay away on the Sunday night too and maybe that’s why I hugged him on that Saturday. I guess I knew I wouldn’t be seeing him again until Gary and I returned from holiday. Barry would return home on Monday to share a week with his older brother who had asked if he would be allowed to move back home especially for the time Gary and I were away. Of course, we said this arrangement would be fine.
But, on that Saturday afternoon, Barry and I shared a heart warming goodbye that will stay with me forever. I wish I knew (at the time) why that goodbye would be so special and I wish I had held him in my arms a little longer. In fact, I wish I could go back to that moment and change the course of our future. I can still clearly see Barry walking away from me that afternoon – gaze on the ground at his feet, he strode with assurance and purpose. I remember standing there and watching him until he was lost from sight, then I got in the car and drove away.
I did speak to Barry three more times on the phone in the five days that followed and then, whilst on holiday, I received THE phone call telling me he had taken his own life.
13 May is going to be as terrible as 18 May. Can it only be one year since I last saw him? Why does it feel like a lifetime?