Welcome back to the Share Your Story series. Last time Beth from New Age Dream shared her story about her angel, Miss Cassie, who was born with Anencephaly. A severe Neural tube condition where the tube fails to close in early pregnancy which technically means “lack of brain”. This week, Nicole from Remembrance Wardrobe is sharing her story on what she has learned from her mother’s death…
My name is Nicole Leslie, I’m 18 years old and I run the blog Remembrance Wardrobe. I’m not the only contributor to the blog, my Mother is the reason I started the blog and she is the other contributor. I enjoy fashion, but I also like talking about grief and mental health. My mother liked poetry, so why not put all of it together in a blog.
I hope my blog can help others, because we can remember the people we have lost in things such as: poetry, clothing, art, literature, music, food, etc. Remembering helps myself to keep my mother fresh in my memories.
What I Learned From My Mother’s Death
I used my grief from my mother’s death and turned it, into creativity to honour her.
It was July 11th 2015 when my family got the call that my mother passed away from heart failure at the age of 55 years old. At the time I was 15 years old and my sister was 25 years old. We fell to the ground and the name motherless daughters was our label.
My mother was a creative, bright, beautiful woman who dealt with depression which caused her alcoholism, which then caused her death. Knowing that my mother could have lived longer if she didn’t have depression or an addiction, lead to my own depression.
For the first couple of years after my mother’s death, I had a very negative mindset on life, and on myself.
I focused solely on my mother’s death and on her alcoholism. I never focused on her true self.
My mother wanted to be a poet, but she was too afraid to step outside of her comfort zone, of her family’s company that she worked for her whole life. It made me extremely sad that my mother was unable to do what she loved to do. I wanted to help her but I was too late.
One day I had a panic attack about my own future. I was scared I was going to fall in the same route as my mother. Fearful of not being able to follow my dreams. I decided to rant and cry to my mother, I drove to the cemetery and I sat next to my mother’s grave. Talking, crying about life, her death, grief, depression, and my future. It was such a beautiful day, sunny and breezy. The cemetery was green and the birds were chirping while dragon flies flew around. I felt more calm and then realised, that I was going to be ok.
I drove home and read my mothers poems for a couple of hours. She wrote poems for everyone she loved. While reading her poems, I felt like I learned a lesson from my mother:
“Do what your heart follows”.
I believe that day I accepted my mother’s death and appreciated her, and her story.
A couple of months after that day my sister and I went through our mothers clothing that we never seen before. I took the majority of it and tried all of it on, I started crying because I felt connected with my mother. That same day, I made the blog “Remembrance Wardrobe” where I honour my mother by styling her clothes with mine, and putting her poem lines in blog posts. The blog is what I love to do, and my heart followed it. Remembrance Wardrobe is a creative project that my mother and I created. My mother is finally getting the recognition she deserves. And it’s a platform where people can hopefully look at death and grief in a different way. Clothing helps us remember the people we have lost.
Thank you Nicole on sharing your story. It must be lovely to have a way to feel connected to your mother.
If you would like to read more from Nicole, head over to Remembrance Wardrobe.