I'm very sad to say that my mum died last Tuesday. She died at home, in her sleep,
with dad at her side, and it seems she never really suffered any pain.
I visited her on 4 February. She was now in bed all the time, but in reasonably
good spirits it seemed and with a regular stream of friends calling in every day.
I only hope I can be equally brave and positive if something similar ever happens
So, that was the situation until just before last weekend, when she began sleeping
much more. I went to see her on Monday. Although I was at the house for four hours
that day, mum was sleeping almost all the time. Nurses kept arriving and the doctor
visited. The slightest thing exhausted her completely. However, she did say a
few words to me. I held her hand and she squeezed it. That meant a lot, as we
would often sit on the sofa together watching TV and I would hold her hand.
I returned back here to the house further north. A few hours later, at 6.30am,
my dad called. He was in tears. Mum's breathing had become faint around 1.15am
and he had sat with her until 1.30am, when she stopped breathing. I was awake
when he called: I had woken at 5.15am in a very upset state. Couldn't stop thinking
about her and couldn't stop crying. It was as if I knew what had happened.
Dad said she looked a picture of peacefulness. Fortunately Dad wasn't there alone.
The Doctor had suggested several times that someone should stay overnight, so
Dad could get some sleep (in fact I'd also offered to stay that night). After
I'd left, he changed his mind and, for the first time, accepted the doctor's offer.
So the lady who came over, sat in the room with mum and woke dad when her breathing
The funeral was on Friday. I'm not in the slightest bit religious, so I ignored
those parts of the service and focused my mind on my own personal memories. Mum's
best friend read a poem that she had written specially. The made the whole thing
However, I had the strong feeling that mum had already gone and the event was
all a formality really. Though, since then, there have been moments when I felt
that she was with me. We'd had several months to come to terms with the situation
and, in some ways, it was harder to cope with seeing her become increasingly ill.
Whether this will all hit me much harder in the coming weeks and months, I don't
First thing on Saturday morning, dad headed off to work in the charity shop where
he and mum were volunteers -- raising money to help other people who have cancer.
Mum was still working full days in the shop up until early December. Their contribution
was acknowledged by the fact that the Regional Manager of the charity attended
the funeral. If you would like to know more about this organisation, please click
here for details.
Also, the standard of care that mum received from the National Health Service
has been absolutely superb. We are going to write to the various people who were
involved, to thank them.
It's my 42nd birthday today...
One thing's for certain. My mum was a person who lived in the present and looked
to the future. She wouldn't want us moping around and being sad for weeks. So I'm trying to avoid that.
Here's a pic of mum's favourite cactus. It was in bloom while she was in
bed. As it's February, I can't quite work out whether this is a Christmas or Easter flowering cactus (maybe it's bisexual and not quite sure!). Anyway, this plant could well be older than me. Previously it belonged to my grandmother and I remember it being in her conservatory when I was just five or six years old.
GETTING IN TOUCH
Comments are welcome! My contact information is here.