There are no words that can fully describe the sudden loss of my mum on March 25th 2022, aged 69. I’ve always dreaded the eventual loss off a parent. I’m not here to discuss the finer details of her passing. Just to say that to us it was unexpected for us and sudden. For my Mum, I think she knew things were going wrong long before she was admitted to hospital. As a family – we had been planning her coming out, not knowing what was about to occur leading up to her time of death 12.17pm. Whist I have comfort in my oven beliefs of the great beyond. It doesn’t make the shock and grieving any easier. Time……

Grief is tidal. In time, it can recede and leave us with feelings of peace and advancement, only for it to wash back in with all its crushing hopelessness and sorrow. Back and forth it goes, but with each retreating drift of despair, we are left a little stronger, more resilient, more essential and better at our new life.” – Nick Cave

We’d got word that mum had spoken to Dad around 9am and was in good spirits and ok that Friday morning. But they were doing tests, due to a heart attack at some point. Later that day, I had been sat outside for a lunchtime break enjoying the sunshine and cherry blossom tree at work. Unknown to me Mum had already died by then. I got a phone text from my Brother to call my Dad urgently at 4pm. Just as I was finishing work. From that moment on. My world collapsed. (My mum had escaped Covid. But complications from having type 1 Diabetes as a teenager had taken its toll….)

What followed…Shock, disbelief, imaginings. The incessant replaying of my imaginary version of events in the hospital room she died. Her last texts….My Dads breaking.. utter, complete devastation, anger, not knowing why. I chose not to see her. But remember her in better times. I’d seen her the Sunday before she was admitted into hospital and spoke to her on the phone there Wednesday before. We had a pretty positive conversation, she seemed hopeful to be discharged the following week…That was not meant to be. is preparedness for a death easier than a sudden death, or is watching the decline and often suffering worse? (We have finally got the post mortem results, which have helped explain things)

I’ve never cried so much, never felt so lost. I continue to have moments where I question life and what the point is, my own mortality and health. Even though I’m a practicing spiritual being and very imperfect. The older I get the more I focus on our happiness and health. As wealth, and possessions matter little to the dead. Making memories, experiences and doing some good in the world being me great contentment and purpose.

At the age of 46, I lost the option to hug my Mummy physically. I miss that energy and pure love. I took 2 months off work to process, exist, work through exhaustion, support my Dad. I’m eternally grateful of friends, neighbours, the well being community for all of their kind words, actions and support. Its really has and is helping.

My mum was a card carrying Olympic gold medal winner of worrying. (I wish she had not absorbed and obsessed the news so much and focussed on happier things.) She was mad as a box of frogs, very eccentric and extremely set in her ways, had extremely sensitive hearing, where noise really bothered her. Never listened to a word we told her with ‘our news,’ we just got a ‘Well anyway!’ We often had disagreements and differing opinions. But she was also very kind and generous, would do anything for people. She was my mummy. We will miss going round for her buffet spreads and her stories of her elastic snapping and her skirt falling down in B&Q carpark. Then to hold it up all the way round shopping, only to tell my Dad later. The last few years were restrictive with visits, mum getting out and us keeping them safe, due to the Pandemic. In some ways, from what she said, she thought there would never been a return to normality with it all. In some of her last writings/ instructions, she said to visit her and ‘tell her our news..’ well we can now without interruptions! There was also an emphasis about us all being good humans and looking after each other.

She brought me into this world to experience it, that wonderful precious gift of life and hands for music making. All 3 of us children has been very poorly at birth, but thankfully we all survived. She told us she was pleased she had been here for some of our milestone birthdays. But had hinted she may not be here for her 70th. She loved her collection of over 1000’s Teddy Bears, her garden, nature and their cat ‘Mew.’ My parents were married 51 years. Together for a bit longer. Mum hated social media, so I was ‘banned’ by her from posting videos/ photos of her. Meaning I never got as much footage as I would have liked.

In the darkness of my grief. I began creating music. Dedicating it to Motherhood, loss and her memory. We had to wait a month for her natural burial at Tithe Green – a beautiful, peaceful place, where a cherry tree will be planted on her grave later this year, at the next plantings. (and a non religious insistence from mum in her final instructions) I played one of the tracks ‘Mother’ as she was interred. Along with her favourite Local Hero music by Mark Knopfler ‘Wild Theme’ and ‘Whistle Theme.’ (Also played on what would have been her 70th birthday on June 20th) by her grave, surrounded by her family.

Some things I never discussed with my Mum, Some things I just could not. But my music communicates all I need to say to her and about her. It has been an emotional journey. Crying in my home studio, creating this. Its also been healing. Whilst One never truly gets over loss and death, you learn to live with it. Initially I spoke I feared I’d never be able to feel joy again. It is all part of the steps of grief. there is no exact timetable and order to it. Even now something will set me off. I changed my next of kin contacts to remove my mum yesterday and it set me off crying. Going in a shop and seeing something she would have liked as a gift, or a flowery dress. There is an emptiness that comes with loss of a loved parent. When it first happened, I kept crying out ‘I want my mummy.’ As if the child of me and in me reawakened.

Watch my music and memories below.

Track listing: Album ‘Mother’ (Released later in 2022)

  1. Mother
  2. Womb
  3. Born
  4. Lullabye
  5. Butterflies and Bees
  6. Red Poppy
  7. Our Love is Undying
  8. The Cherry Tree
  9. The Garden
  10. Teddy Bear
  11. In Spirit

We’ve had messages, signs she is about in spirit and is ok. This gives me peace. My Dad is our main focus now, in supporting him and helping him in his twilight years. Cherish every moment, every day and spend quality time with your loved ones…… I take every days as it comes, work on myself, maintain my mental health, diving more into life changes, moving house, booking things to look forwards to. Good food, fresh air, forests. As much as I can Meditation and Reiki practice. Our new home we are moving to in August, is already known to me literally as ‘Healing House.’ We made the decision to move a while ago and began readying ourselves by de-junking and packing boxes. Seeing our new house and confirming its a definite goer was a good thing. I’ve discussed mortality with my Dad. plus our want to buy land and go and live a simple life. The escape from society can be achieved. Escaping from oneself, ones fears and issues is not so easy. I tried to escape and leave it all behind for a few days and short break in Somerset. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. It followed me with a vengeance. Dealing and fronting up to all of this, is a hard slog. A massive thank you to Ange, my wifey. I have put her through a lot of shit and upset. She has helped us all so much. Ange – I love you so much. xxxx

Ange told me the moment my mum passed, my Grandma (her mum) was waiting to take her. My Mum was never a believer in anything spiritual, ghosts, afterlife and had abandoned any previous Religious beliefs (Due to the horrors of the world-‘What God would allow so much suffering etc) I always said to her, she would find out it was all real one day. Now she has! She is fine, we are all not so fine. I’ve been given messages and information from a trusted Psychic reader (separately from Ange) that no one else would know. Which is really reassuring, comforting and interesting.

I’d gone upstairs, in the room that my mum used to do her jigsaws in. Not been in there for months at Dads. The clock on the wall had stopped dead at 12.17 (the time of death) I’d shouted down to my dad about this and checked that my brother and sister had not altered it. He said that clock had stopped the year before, mum had asked him to change the battery and he had not…..

Mum has been around a lot in my dreams lately. This brings comfort and upset as I miss her. I’ve talked to many people about loss. My loss is not comparable to yours, as we all experience different journeys with it. But kind of all join that ‘club.’

We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world–the company of those who have known suffering.” Helen Keller

There are people with far more tragic losses with their given circumstances. But it does in a good way, feel nice to help others with my own experiences. As positive things can come out of all of this too.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross​

Julie West (mum)

You can watch the ‘Adventures with Clange’ moving house bitch fits and series here

There is also my own talking therapy Claud Vlogs:

My Dad ‘Face Timed’ me today. He has had a good day. Makes me happy.