Tag Archives: acceptance

Memories Of A Life Passed – Two Years On

Mum in Hospital Feb 2011 

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.

 mum

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.

Christmas 2003

Christmas 2003

Aside

Still Here….. Well here we are, the afternoon of 21st December 2012, and well, here we are! According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the world should have ended this morning at 11.11am UK time, and we should all be dead. For … Continue reading

Reprise, Regrets and Rememberance

Those who have been through the last 12 months here, will know just how hard this last year has been for me, and for my wife too, looking after me, coping with some pretty wild mood swings, from smiles to tears, to anger in 10 minutes, and making sure that I didn’t do anything “ stupid “ to myself.

 

If you’ve managed to get this far and ploughed through the last week of entries, well done and thank you for your patience.

 

What I have tried to do, is to give you an idea of what it was like for me at that time.

 

The lack of information was awful, sitting on the end of a mobile phone, waiting for it to ring with bad news.. or good even.

 

Because that’s how it was then…Mum went from being a frail old lady who had had a fall and needed a bit of hospital treatment,  to an incurable  terminally ill lady in 10 days.

The information that we were all getting was so up and down, we really didn’t know which way to turn.

 

Poor old Mum went from dying in 24hours – get everybody here as soon as you can –  on Monday morning, to needing a 6-8 weeks course of anti biotics – Tuesday –  to  a regular chest drain every 3-4 days.

 

Even on the 14th July, her last day, 2 hours before she died, the hospital was planning to carry out the chest drain, and were making plans for her future care and rehabilitation.

 

When the end finally came, it was quick and catastrophic.

 

All Mum’s organs failed as the blood poisoning took hold.

 

And nobody knew.. not us . not the health professionals, no none, except perhaps Mum, who on Thursday in the only lucid moment she had that day,  came round and gasped “ I’m dying, I’m dying”

 

Those last six days of Mum’s life were like the worst roller coaster ride of our lives, with crests of hope so high we were delirious with happiness, to troughs of despair deeper than black holes.

 

We honestly didn’t know if we were coming or going.

We didn’t know if Mum was coming or going, though we knew that whatever happened then, even if she did survive, she would have really struggled, and it would just have been a matter of time before she finally succumbed.

 

We had to make some tough calls, and I know for one that I got my big call wrong.

 

We should have come back straight away, left the gear or sent it DHL. I should have been there, but I wasn’t and now I’ve got to live with that…. That and a million other could have’s and should have’s that prey on my mind when a loose thought triggers my memory.

 

I still think of her a lot, the pain of grief is still there, and I still miss her so much. I would give almost anything just to go back in time for a day, but I know that’s not going to happen, so I must wait for that day, when the call comes from above, and hope that everything I’ve been told about heaven and the hereafter is in fact true.

 

My youngest brother ( who has Downs Syndrome ) wrote a eulogy for her funeral.

The simplicity of the words, his view of Mum, are beautiful.

 

I feel blessed and honoured to have had such a loving and caring Mum

She was sensitive and kind hearted, compassionate but could also be temperamental.

 She had a heart of gold, and I want to thank God who gives joy to the world,  as we remember the life of a remarkable woman who will never be forgotten.

 Our love will never be extinguished because we will be her family forever.

 I will never forget the Mum who gave me so much love.

 Goodbye Mum

 

 

 If you have a spare moment any time, say a prayer for her please.

She would have liked that.

 

Birthdays

Tuesday the 20th  was my birthday..

53 years ago in a far away land I was born at 12.20am weighing 6lbs 12oz.

      

This birthday more than any other has been very difficult for me, because of the year that we have had, the loss of my mum, the disposal of her assets and the family home ,and  the loss of all the ever present constants in my life.

                                             

I was not expecting much of Tuesday, my birthday is so close to Christmas that it gets swamped by the aforementioned  festival, birthday presents in Christmas paper ( grrrr! ) and birthday presents AT Christmas ( double grrr!! ) but I was expecting a day of reflection, a morose day, during which I would do nothing but think about my mum, and mourn her abscence.

                          

I DID think about her quite a lot, and did shed a tear or two in her rememberance.  Every year she used to call me at sometime during the day, and sweetly sing happy birthday to me down the telephone, or if I was lucky, would sing it to me in person. She knew that because it was so close to Christmas my birthday would get lost, and she always went out of her way to try to make it special,  picking special birthday cards and  chosing the words with such loving care, that the card became a present on it’s own, because part of her gift was the time she had taken to pick the card with the right words in, and the message that she wrote in it.

                    

Most years I didn’t really take much notice to be honest, but the last few years, as I’ve aged, and become a bit more aware and appreciative  of the effort she was making, I looked forward to her call,  her card, and that message in it.

Not having that this year, that annual birthday confirmation of love and care, has hit me hard. The realisation that she is never going to sing happy birthday to me again, has been heart breaking and I’ve not been looking forward to this birthday at all.

     

 I won’t even mention Christmas.

     

Ever since she died, I’ve been waiting for her to come and visit me, every night looking at her picture beside my bed, a tear in my eye, wishing she would come and see me,so that we could  catch up and spend a few fleeting minutes together. 

Every morning I wake up ( after a night of sleeplessness tossing and turning) disappointed….

until the night of the 19th December. ..

I can’t remember all of my dream, and the circumstances within, but I do remember stroking her hair, kissing her on her cheeks, and on her forehead, and telling her that I loved her and missed her so so much….

And then I woke up.. I couldn’t get back into the dream, and I don’t know if she said anything to me, I seem to think she did, but I can’t remember what she said…BUT after nearly 5 months, and the day before my birthday, she had made it.

       

I can’t describe my state of mind now, I’m still upset, but I’m not on the edge of  the  flood of tears that have been bursting out. It’s been close a few times, and I know there will be tear filled episodes in the future, ( Christmas probably when we toast absent friends at dinner )  but I feel like she has helped me accept what has happenend, and maybe, just maybe I’ve turned that corner.

    

I know that I’ll  always love her and that  I will never forget her, and that I miss her more than I could have  ever imagined. Hopefully , when my time comes, she will there with my Dad to guide me into whatever there is after this life.

  

 Well, that’s my BIG milestone passed.. I’m still here, and feeling strangely calm.

The next biggie is Christmas…She used to love it, the occassion, all the family round her.

Christmas is full of happy memories for me, thanks to mum, and all my family.

I hope it stays that way.

Christmas 2003

Gallery

Letting Go..

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Mum – 1958 aged 28 I feel like I’m living my life trapped in a bubble I can’t break free and it’s causing me trouble I don’t want to let go of the Mum that I’ve lost But I know … Continue reading

Gallery

If only’s and what if’s ….

This gallery contains 1 photos.

  All my love always – it’s a two way thing What if I could go back in time Would I go back to see mum in her prime? Or would I go back to earlier days Ones that I … Continue reading