Finding Mum


My mother loved the sparrows in the ivy. They were all over the windows that Summer’s dawn. I was the one who found her. This was written in Creative Writing Class during my inpatient treatment for acute PTSD after her suicide. Word for word…


I pushed my fingers against the brass plate. The door, ajar, creaked just a little. The blue of my mother’s nighty, I bought it for her, from M&S, shone through the crack and my voice trembled in readiness for a conversation. A sympathetic conversation.


“Yes, love.”

“Why are you in here all on your own?”

“I was just looking for something, Gin.”

Well, what could she she have been searching for so early on this cool Summer morning of July 18th? Her spectacles left after some dusting? Checking the boiler so that the heating in this drafty old cottage is still filling the radiators with tepid water half an hour each day?

“Hey, Dad’s been worried about you. He’s been marching through the lavender, the roses, calling your name, and for an hour and a half.”

Shall I embrace her?

“Hey, Mum.”

“Yes Dear.”

“Why are you in here all on your own?”


The lights were off, the curtains open. The sparrows must have pecked at the spiders’ webs on the window pains. Did they see you with their yellow eyes, heads cocked, inquisitive? Did they sing for you?


I see you, blue.
I touch your arm with the backs of my fingers.
I go down on my knees.
I stand and run.

The door closed behind me with the clatter remembered since childish forays into the cottage. The parties. Get togethers. Warm Christmases.

Now the door is locked tight, and I have no key.

8 thoughts on “Finding Mum

  1. I am so sorry you had to experience this, Ginny. This has made me cry.
    My mum died suddenly, of natural causes: it was my poor brother who found her in our family home. His descriptions of events and emotions will always stay with me. He carries that experience with him. Thinking of you today – be well x

    1. Stuart, I am so sorry. Emotional connections and shared experiences, family to family. In life, in death. Next, I tried to stop my father opening the door with the key. I couldn’t physically hold him back. My siblings, like you, carry our descriptions. I could only tell them what they wanted to hear. Love and light to you all. And thoughts for your Mum. x

  2. So sorry Ginny.. words totally inadequate… Do know that writing/reading of the reality of our lives and relationships helps us connect, realize our commonalities, and ultimately enriches our understanding of what it is to be human…Your writing is a beacon of light that always illuminates….Sending love. xx