Taking on the role of mum: Dedicate to my wonderful Auntie Sue Sue

The only way to start this blog post is by sharing my aunties tribute to my mum from the funeral:

Alison,

You were not only my little sister, you were my best friend.

You were the sensible one who I came to when I needed advice. We shared our holidays and has so much fun – all girls together.

We made a pledge to each other that we would look after each others girls and that is exactly what I will do. Your girls are with me now and I will carry on raisin them just as you did. I am going to try and master the Lally look that my girls got from you when you were not happy with them.

Forever in my heart. Sleep tight my darling sister.

Love Susan xxx

Reading this from the funeral programme still gives me goose bumps, they had this pledge for years but never at the age of 50 did Sue Sue feel she would be stepping up as the role of mum to not only 2 but 4 teenage girls.

So, a few weeks back I spent the weekend in Devon with two friends, after a day at the beach we had a BBQ and drank multiple bottles of prosecco watching the sun set while talking about our family and past. This got me thinking It’s about time I write a post dedicated to my auntie, Sue Sue.

For anyone who read ‘My Story’ will know I moved in with my auntie after my mum passed. My mums’ side of the family have always been super close and I will forever be grateful for my auntie taking me and my sister on. She had only just turned 50 and ended up with 4 teenage girls aged between 14-18, 2 had lost their mum, 2 had lost their auntie, she had lost her little sister and not once did she complain, we were now a family of 5 with a strong bond and a hell of a lot of knickers to wash haha.

Talking about my past with people who didn’t know me at the time of mum’s death makes me reflect how lucky I actually was/am. Not everyone is close with there family, not everyone has someone who wants to take them on at 15, not everyone has an auntie like I do.

You’re probably thinking why did you move in with your auntie and not your dad. So, my dad is around and has always been around however him and my mum split roughly 4 years prior to my mum’s death so we hadn’t lived with him for a while. It was just a very natural feeling for me to move into suesue’s. Me and my sister were two young teenagers going through high school and still had our lives ahead of us, for me I need a mother figure, I needed to live with someone who could guide us through all the crazy female emotions and life events we were still yet to experience. Periods, boyfriends, sex all these things I feel should be spoken about with your mum (or whoever takes on the role of mum) my mums’ side have always been a close and open family so I’m glad we had my auntie to turn to with all these things.

Taking on the role of mum for myself and Danielle while already having Lauren and Sadie must have been very difficult but she never thought twice. There was never the feeling of her trying to replace mum that some people may get with a step parent, she was just my biggest support and there isn’t anything to show how thankful we are. Reflecting back now we are 10 years on and ¾ of us have moved away from home, it’s crazy to think we all lived on top each other for the first year, all of us had lost and were grieving in so many different ways but selfishly (as you are at 15) I never actually thought how my auntie felt and how she was coping, she was there to support us, there to hug us when we was having a down day. Even now if I go home for a weekend she’s the first to know when something is wrong or stressing me out, all she’s got to say is ‘I no its getting to you what’s up’ and I burst into tears and we sit talking it all out. Sue sue fully supported our grieving process and always ‘rides the waves’ as she would say but now were 10 years on, older and wiser its time to look after her (well when I’m a millionaire I’ll take away all money worries haha).

I know my auntie supports everything I do but I also understand she isn’t ready to read thegrilwithgrief, it’s me letting the world in to a very personal journey of mine and I respect that it can bring back a lot of memories for my mums’ closest family and friends. Everyone grieves differently and everyone grieves forever so this post is really just an appreciation post to a wonderful person that means so much to me. I honestly don’t no where i would be with out her. As a family we have been thrown a pretty shit hand in life but whatever life continues to throw our way, we will support each other till the end.

The main message from this post is to reach out and check up on people grieving, even if they did take you on, even if they are older, they still lost the someone as close as you did. So however, many days, weeks, years on a simple message, if its random, if it’s on an anniversary, if it’s a birthday, any day a simple ‘how are you feeling’ can go a long way.

I was lucky to have a lot of friends and family around me at the time of my mum’s death but if your reading this and thinking your alone please reach out. I will be hear to support you as much as I can.

Love the Girl with Grief xx

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