I have no idea how I am supposed to tackle a post like this, but I know I have been trying to for the last 7 days or more.
Perhaps I was scared that writing about it would make me actually have to face up to what I know deep down is true.
My Mum passed away. She’s gone. Not just out of the house any more, but gone forever.
People keep asking me how I feel and I am not sure what my answer is supposed to be, because I have no idea how I feel. No one gives you a handbook.
My life for so long was looking after my Mum, watching her decline and wondering what was going on in her head. As someone pointed out, we managed to look after her for as long as we could and this resulted in her only being away from the house for just over 2 months. I hope we did right by her and that now she understands we did the best we could.
There was never going to be a vast improvement, her refusal to eat and drink was worrying for all concerned, family and Doctors alike, but I never expected she was going to die, well not so soon anyway. There were moments of uncertainty when she contracted Aspiration Pneumonia, she looked so frail and her breathing sounded painful, but she still kinda bounced from day to day.
Last week, reports had been better, people were a little happier after their visits. She was in good enough spirits, chittering away and even recognised some people. On Wednesday we got the phonecall, the one that even though I never expected it, I dreaded. We were asked to come to the hospital, things didn’t look good.
The Doctor told us that after she had become unresponsive they had sent her for a brain scan which had revealed she had suffered another bleed, this one significant and sadly untreatable. All that was left now was to make her comfortable and wait.
We sat around her bed. We cried, we laughed while sharing stories and we waited.
Thankfully for both us and her, we did not have to wait too long. After she stopped breathing the first time, my Dad spoke to her, my Sister prayed for her and I sang to her, my Aunt and Uncle close by until a few minutes later she just slipped away in her sleep.
People tell me she is in a better place, whole again and happy. I have to believe that too, because it’s what is going to get me through each day. This ending, although sad, was better for her.
It’s hard to sum up someone’s life in words, but our Minister managed to do it perfectly, telling the 400 strong crowd how much of a character she was. There were nods of agreement, as each person no doubt remembered their own encounters with this wee woman who was so many things to so many people. A Wife, a daughter, a Mother, a friend, a nurse or even just a stranger who offered smiles and hugs without expecting anything in return.
She may have been small in stature, but she leaves a big void.
Rest in peace Mum, I love you x