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 hospital....it'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 family....my 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.