In the week that mother daughter actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher died within 24 hours of one another – it got me thinking about that bond – how tough it is to navigate, quite impossible to get right consistently and yet of such a profound importance in our health, growth and life.
Carrie died of a heart attack first, Debbie of a “broken heart” a day later, they had loved each other deeply until the last. They lived in the same compound in Beverly Hills, held notoriously hilarious parties together and were the best of friends.
But it was not always thus – they had a tricky relationship through Carrie’s teenage years and were estranged for decades. Carrie wrote “Postcards from the Edge” which certainly didn’t paint her mother in a cosy maternal light. But they had forgiven one another, made their peace, bonded again in that deep way only a mother and daughter can. After all, Hollywood royalty or not, you only have one mum.
I know a lot about tricky mum/daughter relationships – my mother abandoned me as a child. In fact one of my most poignant memories was receiving a letter at boarding school at just 11 years old – from my mum it began: “By the time you receive this letter I will be living in LA..”
But my story – like Debbie and Carrie’s – has a happy ending. I celebrated my 50th birthday this year with both my mum (who I have a loving honest and deep relationship with now and she is also an epic grandma to my son) and my dad (they had the bitterest of 1960s divorces – never spoke, my father got custody, my mum started again with a new family) but they united in their love for me and on that day I cannot tell you what joy and peace it gave me.
It’s been a long road of forgiveness, understanding, trauma and tears – but that’s a whole other story……
Love Jane x