The Bus Pass

“But I must admit I miss you quite terribly. The world is too quiet without you nearby” – Lemony Snicket

The death of a loved one is a curious thing. What’s more curious though, are the things I found myself clutching onto. I don’t know about the rest of you who have experienced a loss, but I take great comfort in not letting the little things go. If I face it, it’s only the little things I have left…

You may find this a little creepy or you may find this acceptable, whatever the case I am not writing this seeking your approval. So let your thoughts and opinions be what they are. We are all entitled to them. If I’m being completely honest, even I think it’s a little creepy sometimes. So here it is – If you see me wearing a jumper on a particularly chilly day then it was more than likely hers. I wear them to work, I wear them to the shops, I wear them in early Spring and I wear them in the dead of Winter. My Mam and I are the same size so when she died I took a lot of her clothes that I liked for myself. I didn’t wear them at first, I didn’t even wash them as they still smelled like her and I wasn’t completely sure on what I wanted to do with them. Eventually, the jumpers and shirts that I had set to one side didn’t smell like her anymore. I spritzed them with her perfume time and time again but with no avail. I couldn’t get them to smell right. Her smell, just like the rest of her, was gone.

I decided fairly quickly afterwards that it made more sense – to me, for me to wash her clothes and wear them. For me, it is perfectly okay and rational to walk around in my dead Mother’s jumpers. I feel closer to her whenever I do. It made little sense for her clothes to stay packed away or hung up somewhere collecting dust and there was so way I was throwing any more in charity bags.

The other strange thing I have clung onto is now almost a whole two years old. (No, I am not talking about my Nephew) After she died and I had to return to work, I found in the bottom of my bag, a bus pass. This bus pass was mine. It was the one I had used to get to work on the morning of the 14th of August. For those of you who I don’t expect to remember, this was the date she died.

This bus pass had that date marked on it as clear as day. It was marked as it’s expiry date as it was a seven day pass. I wish I knew, what made me fold it up and put it in the back of my purse that day. I wish I knew, why I wanted to cling onto a bit of cardboard that I last used the day she died. I wish I knew, why my heart skips each time I think it might of fell out of the purse section I placed it in. Almost two years later, I still carry this bus pass with me everywhere. It’s been out of the country with me more than once or twice. The cardboard is so battered and old you can’t even read the date properly anymore but for some reason, that doesn’t matter to me.

For me, carrying that bus pass in my purse and wearing her jumpers in the Winter is normal. It’s me holding on to what little I have left of her because no matter what anyone says, memories, for me, just aren’t enough. In the end, I could be potentially causing myself more pain. I dread to think how I would feel when I eventually lose that bus pass. I only hope it isn’t as bad as losing her. After all, the bus pass is only a small representation. I would do well to remember that, really, as sometimes I feel like I’m holding onto that bus pass just as I would be holding onto her hand if I had the chance… for dear life.

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