Thursday, 26 December 2019


I love this picture of Mum, I have it as my laptop screensaver.  It was taken by my sister back in May, in Mum's garden, Mum was on the phone to me at the time.  Unfortunately, she didn't look anything like that on Christmas Eve when she died, she'd lost so much weight and looked utterly dreadful, seeing her like that will haunt me for the rest of my life.  

But I'm not going to dwell on it, I shall look at the above pic whenever the image of her final day threatens to overwhelm me.

Mum passed away 10 minutes before we got to the's fine though, I really didn't want to watch her die, and we're all just relieved she's no longer suffering.  The nurses said she was peaceful and comfortable at the end....well, they would say that wouldn't they, but I choose to take them at face value.  Mum's last few weeks weren't nice at all, her passing is a blessed relief for her and for all of us.  She didn't get her last wish to go home, somehow I knew she wouldn't, she was far too ill to be moved.  It's probably for the best.  The one thing that gives me some comfort is that when I gave her a final hug and kiss, she was still warm, having died only minutes before.....I would have been filled with horror had she been cold.  I am sorry if this upsets anyone, but death is horrible and that's the reality.

A positive is that she had lots of visitors in her last few weeks, many friends from her congregation went to see her in hospital, much to Mum's delight, she didn't realise how loved she was.  I'm glad about that.  I'm also very happy that she was able to speak to me on the phone a couple of weeks ago and told me how much she loved the cards I made for her.

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I just knew she was going to die at Christmas, I just 'felt' it, I even said it to my husband.  Christmas is not a happy time for our beloved Nanna, my Mum's mum, died on Boxing Day years ago.

We have lots of happy memories of Mum, she was very funny, often unintentionally so.  She also said whatever was on her mind, she never left anyone in any doubt as to what she thought, which could be a bit embarrassing at times!  Mum didn't have an easy life, being left to bring up 4 children on her own (I was the eldest at 13, my youngest sibling was just a baby when our father buggered off) and with next to no money.  We never went hungry, she was expert at making a meal out of nothing, we were clothed, fed and warm - even if there was ice on the inside of our windows in winter, we had plenty of blankets, hot water bottles, paraffin heaters and handknitted jumpers, gloves, scarves and hats/balaclavas (much to the disgust of my brothers who had to wear the balaclavas).  We had days out to the zoo, museums and parks, we even went on caravan holidays a few times.  Mum wasn't a demonstrative or cuddly mother, she was more likely to say 'oh for goodness sake, what have you done now?!' when one of us fell over and cut our knee, but we knew we were loved.  And she did become very affectionate in her old age, obviously making up for lost time.

We took our decorations down a week ago, knowing that Mum was near the end I just couldn't bear to have them up.  Regardless of our Christmas being a sad one, I hope all of you have had a lovely time.  We did go to our friends' late yesterday afternoon, they were extremely kind and supportive and we're lucky to have them.

Even though we've been expecting this for months, it's only just beginning to sink in that Mum's gone and I'm very tearful this morning.  

Thank you so very much for all the comments and emails, they help enormously.


  1. It will take a while for it to properly sink in, Sooze. In a way, it's the start of a journey.
    Your Mum sounds amazing. I think that generation were just so self sufficient and independent. They had to be. Much of what you said rang a bell - ice on the inside of windows, paraffin heaters (I can smell them as I type)balaclavas, gloves, had knits, all of which would fetch a fortune nowadays and those caravan holidays (caravan borrowed from a friend). It truly was a great life for us kids but must have been hard for Mum and Dad.

    That's a lovely photo - thank you for sharing it. Much love to you.

  2. So sorry to hear of your Mum passing away.
    Somehow being Christmas time just makes things worse but it sounds like you have so many happy memories of your Mum.
    Sending virtual ((hugs)) from Suffolk to help through the next weeks.

  3. Lovely photo of your Mum and a beautiful connection for you as it was taken when she talked to you.

    Sending hugs and best wishes, let it flow and take time to grieve.xx

  4. My heart aches for you today Sue. Please take some comfort knowing that your mum is at peace. I completely understand about your last hug.

  5. It's early days and the tears will flow many times. You have some wonderful memories of your Mum to help you through the grief. Like Cherie, I can understand about your last hug. The photo is a lovely reminder of a very special, remarkable lady. One day at a time, Sooze. Death is never easy, even when it's expected. Sending love your way. xx

  6. When my Dad died years ago, I was in my 20's and went to see him after he died. I have never wanted to see another dead person and chose not to see my Mum. My Dad, like your mum looked awful and like you I still to this day cannot get the image out of my mind.
    I'm sorry Christmas was a sad time for you but I'm hoping that the coming year is going to sort you out and will be better.

  7. So sorry to hear your sad news Sooze. I know exactly how you feel, my mum died 5 years ago on 28th December, and she got her wish and died at home. Like you I was 10 minutes too late in arriving (I live 40 miles away). Your mum sounded an amazing woman, they don't make them like that anymore.

  8. It is a sad time, your childhood sounds like mine, my dad was with us, but mum did everything for the children, our mum was not cuddly, but like you we knew she loved us. These days when I think of mum loads of happy memories flood my mind.

  9. Sending my condolences at this sad time. The happy memories you have of your mum will help in the weeks and months to come.

  10. You have been in my thoughts over the last couple of days Sooze.

  11. Sending heartfelt condolences at this incredibly sad time.xx

  12. Love and prayers for you and your family xxxx

  13. Dear Sue, still thinking of you. XOXO

  14. What a lovely tribute to your dear Mum. I had to formally identify my Mum's body at the hospital. It wasn't nice, I saw her outer shell, but she wasn't there. Much love to you. xxx

  15. A lovely photo to always look back on and remember her. Lots of hugs xx


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