Living without Mum

Steph's Story: I became a motherless daughter at age four

As I got older it started to hit me a little harder that she was gone. I always envied my friends when their mums would pick them up from school, take them shopping and simply have someone to call ‘MUM’.

Portrait of a Motherless Daughter
My name is Stephanie, I am 33 and I am one of 4 kids to my mum and dad. I became a motherless daughter at the very young age of just 4 years old. My oldest brother was 14, my sister was 11, and my younger brother was 3. We lost Mum, Elizabeth (Lizzy) suddenly to a brain aneurysm at the very young age of 34 years old.

For me and my younger brother being so young, it was simply that mummy had just disappeared, however for my older siblings, a major shift in the family had just occurred and it was extremely hard for them to come to terms with.

I don't have any memories of my mum, without the aid of family videos and priceless family photos, however I do have one memory of my little brother and I being called away by the nurse while Mum was covered in tubes in hospital, literally keeping her alive for the short time for us to say goodbye to her.

From what I have been told by other family members and family videos, is that my mum was always known for her laugh. It was loud and extremely contagious. Her kids were the reason she woke up every morning and made sure we were living our best lives. She would always have a camera in her hand whether that be photo or video, capturing everyspecial moment no matter how big or small and boy do I appreciate every single video and photo she took as now, they are the only thing I have to know who shewas as a person. This is also is part of the reason why I became a family photographer. I want to create memories for other families for them to cherish just as much as I cherish my family photos with her.

As I got older it started to hit me a little harder that she was gone. I always envied my friends when their mums would pick them up from school, take them shopping and simply have someone to call ‘MUM’. Don't get me wrong, I had my maternal grandmother there filling in the motherly duties and I will respect her every day of my life, however I was still missing that one person in my life that has been there since my first breath.

I got engaged, she wasn't there. I got married, she wasn't there. Birth of my first son, she wasn't there, and that was the hardest time to not have a mother.

Sometimes I feel like because I don't actually remember Mum, who am I missing? Why do I feel such a huge hole that nobody can fill? I don't have any traditions that I can pass onto my kids. I've never been able to purchase a Mother's Day gift for my mother. But what I do know, is to value every single day of my life with my own kids and give them a mother they can be proud of.

MDA came to me at the perfect time. A time where I was trying to find the next path in my life after having my 3rdson and needing my mum so badly. I felt alone and scared in a world where I felt no one in my world was understanding what I was actually feeling about missing mum. Then I saw a post one day on Facebook of MDA, an organisation that supports women in my situation and I felt at home immediately after joining. I finally saw that I wasn't alone. I may have not received the closure I was looking for, however I found people who knew what I was feeling and I didn't need to feel guilty about talking about Mum and worrying about how they would feel, as I knew they were in the exact same boat me.

During my time of being part of MDA, I've come to realise that no matter how old you were when losing mum, she will always be your mum. It’s ok to cry a little when you’re missing her a little more and it’s ok to blast her favourite song for the street to hear. Do whatever you need to do to feel her there! I make sure my 3 boys know who their nanna was by showing photos of her and they kiss Nanna Lizzy goodnight every night, and so do I as it gets me through the next day without her.

I hope my story has helped someone, make the pain a little easier, knowing that we as MDA sisters are here for you.
Thank you for reading to the end.

Much love always,
Steph xx

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Motherless Daughters Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land, sea and nations and pay our respects to elders, past and present.
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