I’ll never forget our last words and sights of my Mum… We were leaving her house about 10pm on the 28th June 2011. We had taken some food round for her, and she had eaten a good hearty meal for a change, and had come to the door to see us off.
She stood there in her night dress, with a light dressing gown draped around her to keep her warm, her thin pale face and white hair, with brown eyes watching as we got ready to go.
I went over and gave her a light hug ( not too hard because of her chest) and told her we would see her soon, it was only three weeks and that I loved her.
She wished us a happy holiday, and said she hoped we would have a good time. Her last words to me were ” I’m going to miss you two ” I said ” I’m going to miss you too Mum”….
How prophetic that was.
As we got to the top of the drive, I looked back and I could see her standing there, 4ft 11 inches tall, a sad , forlorn, frail old lady who was probably worried how she was going to manage without us and probably more than a little afraid.
Two years ago today, 28th June 2011 ( it was a Tuesday), was the last time I saw or spoke to my Mum.
If you’ve read the entries from this time last year, you’ll know the reasons why, if you haven’t I’ll give you a quick resume.
My Mum who was 80, had to have open heart surgery ( risky at any age, but more so for anyone of the age ), to replace a heart valve.
Initially she made an incredible recovery -physically, though there was some evidence of memory loss, but overall she was making good progress….so much so that we arranged to go on holiday for a few weeks , before we knuckled
down to the serious business of primary carers.
I had set up all sorts of procedures so that she would have some contact with somebody every day that we were away, carers, family, etc. and it
was while we were away, that she had a fall and wasn’t discovered for possibly 36 hours.
It wasn’t that serious at first, so much so that my family didn’t even tell me that she fallen, and was in hospital as they knew I would be worried and besides, she wasn’t that ill…
Little did we know.
At some time post op, she had managed to get an infection in her chest bones, they hadn’t knitted together properly, and the infection finally
overcame her on the 14th July, just as we were about to get on a plane and get back home.
My entries from last year tell the story of that awful time, and the aftermath of her death.
I’ve had a lot of problems coping with her loss, blaming myself for going on holiday, not being there when she really really needed me, and also for not being able to say goodbye, and being able to tell her how much I really did love her, how much I was going to miss her, and all the other things I had wanted to say but just never got round to.
The first few months after her death were particularly difficult, and I spent most of them in a daze of shock, continuing with my life the routines that I had been involved in before her death, but with one massive exception
– Mum –
and crying a lot.
Tears would come at the most inopportune
times, whilst driving my car, out in the pub, sometimes just talking to friends, and for a period of time I honestly thought I was going to lose it completely and descend in to the dark black hole of depression.
Birthdays and Christmas’s were particularly difficult, Mum used to phone up and sing Happy Birthday, something I quite liked secretly, and something I miss so so much now.
She would spend hours ( and fortunes ) picking cards for us, studying the words so that the card would convey exactly what she wanted to say,
and this became part of the Christmas or Birthday present-
Again something I miss so much.
We cleared her possessions, all her clothes, shoes, little things that were part of my Mum, then sold the house, it was like erasing her from our lives, and it hurt so much.
Now, two years later, my thoughts have come back to those dark July days and the last time I saw her, and these last few weeks have seen all the raw emotions and memories from that time resurfacing.
Kathy from Healing From The Loss Of A Parent recently posted an entry “ Living in The Present “ in which she describes her feelings and state of
life after her Mum died.
She talks of living in the past, and of how grief makes you do that, and also of how you can get stuck there. She has emotionally been through what I’m going through now, reading her posts are almost as though I had written them.
Her words and experiences, descriptions of emotions and states of mind and how she has dealt with them have really helped me. For me, the most important part of her entry is
“But true acceptance of what has happened helped me to move forward and move into the
present. I still think about my mom every day. I still miss her. But I am now living again, and living fully in the present. It’s a good place to be, and most of the time I feel at peace.”
My Mum would not want me to spend the rest of my life in mourning, remember her yes, never forget certainly, but mourn her forever…. no.
She would want me to get on with my life, and enjoy it, rather than existing in a world of shadows and grief.
This has got to be my aim, my goal.
If I don’t come out of the shadows
What choice is there for me?…….
I’m going to miss you Mum.