Tag Archives: death

What Goes Around….

For My Mum

A-penny-for-those-thoughts

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Malaya Slides005

Mum,

 2 years ago today you were taken from us.

Two years on the pain of your loss still hurts. especially today.

R.I.P. my lovely Mum, I miss you so much.

Always in my thoughts, forever in my heart

All my love always

xxxx

a-mothers-smile

Two years later, and I’m back where I was when Mum died.

The same restaurant, the same place, the same people….It’s a tradition here that for anniversaries of a loss of a loved one, you go to a church to offer prayers ( which I haven’t managed to do ) and then get balistically drunk, which I intend to do.

It’s been a strange day, being here, reliving those awful days, especially today, looking at the clock, thinking this time two years ago, she only had x amount of hours / minutes left to live…and knowing now, that I had already seen her for the last time…

Sadness, tears, and a general feeling of loss and grief have been my companions for the last few days.

Time to move on, Mum would have hated it to think that she was spoiling our holiday.. so for today I’m wearing black and I will raise my glass ( more than one! ) to my dear lovely Mum.

Tomorrow is another day…..

With special thanks to Christina who has been through so much more than I have, and come through all those dark times, and Kathy, in whose footsteps I now follow.

Thank you to everyone that has written words of support and kindness.

I can’t tell you how much you’ve all helped and how much  I appreciate your kindess

xxx

The passage of time.. Does it get any easier?

the-melting-watch
Time
 
Time – He’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of sensless things
His script is you and me….
 Boy
***
Time…. now there’s a thing… friend or foe….
When you are young, time is an unquantifiable thing..
minutes seem like days, christmas never comes….
You get a bit older & all of a sudden days seem like minutes,
and you are left thinking ” where did that go?”
  
gran-middle-aged
7 years ago today my gran died age 99.
after a short ilness caused by a stroke. She had had a long and eventful life, but time finally caught up with her,
and it was just 6 weeks from admission to final release>
This time 7 years ago, time seemed to stand still,
as we rushed around all the legal departments
getting certificates, and making arrangements
for her funeral.
There was the  sudden realisation
that there was no more time for chats, and laughs, sharing stories, and enjoying each others company.
We had spent most of Christmas in the hospital,visiting my Gran, and supporting my Mum in her visits to the hospital.
Gran-Young
That last night we saw her was  Monday 9th January
 and I remember my Mum saying that she
was worried about my gran as she was getting weaker
and more confused and strugglingto breath,
and that she wanted to stay at the hospital longer
as she had a bad feeling about her.
To be honest I agreed, my Gran was going downhill
but because she was such a fighter
I thought she would last the week out
and that she might pass on the Friday.
Mum reluctantly agreed and we went home about 10.30pm….
How wrong can you be?
At 2.30am the hospital phoned my Mum to say that my Gran had inded taken a turn for the worse, and that she needed to get there quickly as she was dying.
Pre-War-1933
How do hospitals and nurses know this?
How many people have received that call
and got to the hospital to find their
loved one gone or just about to go?
Mum called us straight away to let us know,and we got to the hospital about 30 minutes after she had died.
For my Gran it was a release, she was 99, blind in one eye,
very short sighted in the other, doubly incontinent, and pretty much deaf in both ears and had stated that when her time came, she wasn’t afraid of what was coming after,
just the dying part of it, and that
really she was quite ready to go.

Grans Funeral

My Mum spent the rest of her life thinking about my gran,
full of regrets and should have’s and could have’s…..
which is ironic really because that
is just how I feel about my Mum…
A-penny-for-those-thoughts
If only’s and what if’s??? 
I look back at that Christmas and this time then and think…..
Was that really 7 years go???
Where did those 99 years  of her life go?
Forever in my heart
Till we meet again……
 
 
Catherine – My Gran
24.12.1906 – 10.1.2006
99 Years 17 days
R.I.P
*****************************
I originally published a version of this a few years ago 
and have repeated updated versions every
10th January, in her memory 
.
She was a formidable woman, but I still miss her.
Does it get any easier as the years go by?
I don’t think it does get easier,the loss of any one close to you is always a huge shock whether they are old or not.
What has happened is that as time has passed,  I have become used to that person not being around any more,
My Dad, My Mum, My Gran, people that I have loved and that have died, as the memories fade, so does the pain,
until it is triggered by a date, a sound, a smell,
or one particular thought that floats in to my mind,
then all those represssed memories come rushing to the surface again, bringing with them that familiar ache of grief,
 and the clock starts ticking until the next event.
 
Time – friend or foe?
One day I will work it out
tears
 
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

5th August 2011- Flowers

On the 5th August 2011 we had my Mum’s funeral,

These words were for my Mum on her flowers that day

Mum,

We miss your sounds and your sights

Your laughs and cries

Your sense of humour, your sweetness and kindness,

But most of all we miss you my dear.

No chance now for one last chat

No chance now for one last kiss

No chance now for us to ask you

No chance now for us tell you

Just how much we really love you

And how much we are going to so so miss you

Death is so final, the end for every thing here

No more chats no more chuckles

No more laughs no more struggles

No more pain

Just peace

All your memories 80 years of them,

Gone like snowflakes in the sunlight

Never forgotten, you will always be in our thoughts

Goodbye my love, sleep tight, rest in peace

Until we meet again, all our love , always

 xxx

Rest In Peace My Lovely

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.

 

Coping With The Aftermath

 

We arrived at the airport back home at approx 3.15am on the morning of Friday 15th July, tired and upset.

I had been crying all the way back on the flight, remembering Mum, her life, the sweet little things that she used to do sometimes, that I hadn’t appreciated at the time she had done them, realizing just how much I was going to miss them and trying to imagine what life was going to be like now that she was gone… and missing her so so much already.

An hour later we were at my Mum’s house where all my heroic siblings were gathered.

 

The house was just as mum left it that 4th July afternoon, her belongings everywhere, (she was always a bit disorganised, but she always knew where everything was) the book that she had been reading just before her fall still open on her bed, clothes in the washing basket, slippers by the side of her bed, just waiting for her to slip her little feet back into.

Downstairs, there were cups in the sink, dishes in the dishwasher, the Dyson out ready to vacuum something up, papers had been left open,  her clogs in the hallway neatly lined up…. the house even smelt of her perfume.

Everything was just as normal, just as it had been, and always was, waiting for her to come back and resume where she had left off.

Only that was never going to happen again.

Mum was gone.

80 years of memories, experiences, of happy times and sad times, gone like snow in the sunshine.

 

We all sat around talking, remembering, laughing and crying at the same time, until it got light.

We all needed some sleep, though that was easier said that done and we dozed off in the chairs in my Mum’s front room.

No one wanted to sleep in Mum’s bed.

We all secretly wanted to believe it was just a bad dream, and that if any of us slept in Mum’s bed and she caught us, she would go mental,

Mum’s bed, was MUM’S bed.

 

 

After a few hours of what could loosely be described as sleep, We all went to the hospital to try and get the death certificate sorted out ,make arrangements for Mum’s funeral and to engage a solicitor to instruct Mum’s will.

 

When we arrived at the hospital, a very nice doctor (who my siblings had been having dealings with from the last few days) took us in to a side room, had a long chat with us about Mum, why her condition had deteriorated so rapidly, and gave us a run down of her treatment over her last two days.

I was so tired I could hardly concentrate… everything was a blur.

 

I kept thinking of Mum and her last few months, shuffling around the house, trying to do her best, wondering why she wasn’t feeling or getting any better, whilst within her there was an infection that was growing and growing.

 

I though of the last 18 months that we had together, her first serious “ fall “ – slip – in December 2009, and her diagnosis in early 2010 that she needed a heart valve replacement.

Of the appointments that we went to, the pre op  tests, the intervening months when it was obvious to us, but not the medical profession that Mum’s condition was rapidly worsening.

Of Christmas 2010 when she was so ill she hardly attended the proceedings (we had Christmas dinner at Mum’s that year) because she was too tired and unwell, and of her increasing fatigue and memory problems as her valve problems grew worse.

Of the chats that we had together, her concerns and fears and her hopes and wishes for a healthier and fitter life.

One thing she was adamant on though, was that there was no way she was going to live as long as her mum whatever happened… words of prophesy.

My Family

 

I thought of her pottering around when she got eventually got home, finding it increasingly more difficult to manage in the house, even  with our  and outside help, and I thought of the last time I saw her, her wide brown eyes looking up at me as she said goodbye.

It was so sad, and such a shame.

 

Talking to the doctor did help a bit. It helped me understand or start to, the reason why she had gone from a frail but feisty old lady who had a fall, to one that was dying from an incurable infection, in such a short time.

He also stated that because it was believed that the infection was caught as a result of her heart operation, the coroner wanted a FULL INQUEST, which could be months away.

This was a blow, and meant postponing the funeral for a few weeks until we got an interim death certificate from the coroner (a week later).

 

Then came my last view of Mum.

 

The doctor asked if we wanted to see her.. All my siblings had been there all week, and didn’t need to, where as I did.. I HAD to see her just one last time, so they brought her up from the mortuary and placed her in the chapel of rest and ushered me in.

Poor old Mum…She lay there on the bed, cold as ice, but still Mum.

She smelt the same, she felt the same –her skin felt so soft, like silk, she always had a good complexion – she looked the same, though weirdly she looked as though she had put some weight on, her eyes were ¾ closed and she looked like she was just asleep… not dead.

For a moment I just stood there looking at her, willing her to wake up, but I knew in my heart that wasn’t going to happen

I took her hand in mine, and held it gently, and told her all the things that I had wanted to before she died.

I told her I loved her and I was going to miss her so much that it hurt.

That I didn’t know how I was going to cope without her and of how sorry I was that we hadn’t got back in time.

I told her that she once said that we didn’t love her for who she was, but only for what she was, and that I hoped that the events over the last two weeks had shown her just how much we DID love her…

I spoke for quite a few minutes, and then had to stop. I knew she couldn’t hear me, it was far too late.  I just couldn’t speak any more, the flood of grief and sorrow was overwhelming.

I said my goodbyes, kissed her on each cheek, on her forehead, and finally on her lips and left her lying there, at peace, my last sight of my poor old Mum.

“I’m going to miss you two” her last words to us

“I’m going to miss you too mum”…..

 

Before we left the hospital, I asked for a lock of Mum’s hair. They actually gave me two, and one is kept in a china ornament by the side of my bed. The other is in a multi windowed locket on a chain around my neck,  just long enough for the locket to rest above my heart.This gives me great comfort, and I feel like she is with me when I wear it.  

We then proceeded  to the undertakers to get things started, a traumatic process in itself.

This is where it starts to get a bit complicated….

 

My Dad died in 1981- July 12th to be precise.

We had a funeral, and a cremation, but Dad was never buried.

Mum kept his ashes in her bedroom, and at hard times would hold the container that they were in, for comfort.

 

When my Gran ( Mum’s mum ) died in 2006,  again we had a funeral and cremation ( this time though , the ashes were put in  to a casket ) and kept in her room at my mums house.

It was always her wish that the when she died, all 3 would be put in to the same grave, so that they could be together for eternity – This actually is a separate discussion which I might well cover at a later date – so in effect we were burying three people which brought three times the hurt too, long buried emotions bubbling to the surface again

 

Later that evening, we all went our separate ways back to our lives again.

Lives that were inconceivably different now.

 

Everyone had gone, there was just me and my wife left in the house. It was quiet, the only sound was the hum of the refrigerator in the dining room ,a room that held a lifetime of memories.

Everywhere we looked Mum was still there.

Her shoes lying forlornly in the hallway,  her dressing gowns hanging from the door in her room, a nightdress neatly folded on her bed, , her pillow, still with the shape of her head visible from 2 weeks before, everything waiting for her return.

Mum was there, but she wasn’t… and never was going to be again…..

All of a sudden the emotions became too much and we had to go.

 

There would be plenty more times I would be in the place.

It had to be cleared, all her possessions disposed of, either to the family, or to charity shops, and in all those times that I was there, until it was empty completely and sold,  the house never lost the essecence of Mum and kept the feeling that Mum was only temporarily gone and would return one day.

 

 

 

The next two weeks were a haze. I shut down completely.

All I could think about was poor old Mum, that she was gone, and how much I was going to miss her.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t go out..I couldn’t stop crying.

Everything I did or thought of reminded me of Mum, I couldn’t think of anything else, but there was one thing that helped blot out the pain of life right then…

My old friend Jack Daniels. I drank 4 litres in 5 days… It  just seemed the right thing to do, it dulled everything, made the heart ache more bearable.

 

Slowly I started to come round ( the jack ran out for a start, and I was banned from buying any more) and I began to take more of an interest what was happening around me, the funeral arrangements, designing and printing mums order of service, and life in general.

 

It has taken a long time for me to be able to think about Mum without getting distraught.

I still get upset now, and I miss her so so much, but at least when I’m asked how I’m doing, I can honestly say “I’m getting there “

 

 

My Mum

 

Goodbye my lovely Mum, until we meet again.

Forever is a long long time.

 

Mum – Happy Days

 

 

 

 

Hours to minutes – how soon is now?

And so began  the worst 24 hours of my life.

 

We woke up early as we had to pack, and also because I had received a message from home.

 

14/07/2011 06:59

mum had stable night, heart rate up to 70-80, responding a bit when you talk to her, still in pain so had more pain relief. Doesn’t mean she’s out of the woods tho

14/07/2011 07:02

Thanks Al, that sounds quite good. I’ll take no news as good news. Have you managed to get any sleep yet ? X

14/07/2011 07:04

We bogged off to a hotel last night and got a good 6 hours. We were not functioning at all yesterday.

14/07/2011 07:08

Thats good news too, also that mum was well enough to be left 🙂 are the doctors giving her a better chance now or is it still the same outlook but just with a longer time span? X

14/07/2011 07:10

We left because we could no longer function and they told us to go sleep. Not seen doctor yet so don’t know the answer to your question.

14/07/2011 07:13

Ok Al, just grabbing at straws

14/07/2011 07:15

So are we. Dont read too much into my brusqueness, it’s just text language 😉

14/07/2011 07:17

;-)Okey dokey thanks for telling me. I was a bit concerned 😦

 

50 years ago

 

Again the untold story of the texts is that talking to my sister on the phone elicited the information that the doctors had said they were thinking about a chest drain ( more below) and if this was successful, then Mum  would have to have it done every 3-4 days depending on how well they cleared up the infection…

 

EVERY 3-4 DAYS.. that’s what they said, every 3 – 4 days….

I told you mum was a fighter, but this was close on a miracle.

 

I thought about the email I had sent to my boss the night before.. “ I’m going to look a proper twat – I’ve just told my boss that my mum is dying,she’s got 48 hours to live, and here we are looking at a minimum of 3- 4 days but not only that , an ongoing EVERY 3 or 4 days.

This implied more than one op, and I was ecstatic..

Hope at last!

We finished packing and went to the beach barbecue relatively happy. Happy enough to enjoy it , and not be as miserable as sin.

I had forgotten those words No positive outcome

 

Stiil on the beach later that afternoon, more messages,

 14/07/2011 11:38

Doctors have decided that that mum is sufficiently stable for her to have a small op later this afternoon to put a drain in her chest to get the rest of the pus out. They think benefits outweigh risks as anti-bs will never clear infection on own and should also make her more comfy.

14/07/2011 11:43

That’s got to be good news .when will they do op? Good Luck to her , fingers crossed . I’ll wait for news love to all x

14/07/2011 11:44

They dont know the time yet, but hopefully this afternoon

14/07/2011 11:47

Okey dokey Ali hugs to everyone especially mum xxx

 

We said our goodbyes to our friends on the beach,and went back to our room.

Showered and dressed , we were just about to go for something to eat before we went home, when a message arrived.

14/07/2011 16:01

No news re op time, may be last thing tonight or if surgeon too tired may be tomorrow. We will probably go back to mums tonight if there is no change. I would suggest you go home from flight rather than straight here and then come over in the morning.

14/07/2011 16:09

Okey Ali, we were just discussing what to do. Do you want me to come to mums first or shall I go to the q.e in the morning.? Also what ward / floor is she on? I gather she is stable now ( good) have the docs said any more about her long term prospects ( or am I grabbing at straws again ) see you tomorrow x

14/07/2011 16:12

Suggest you come here, area d of critical care, opening visiting, ring the bell and say you’re mrs lords family. Stable is neutral, neither good nor bad, a plateau from which things will either get better or worse and there’s no guide as to which as this point.

14/07/2011 16:14

Ok thanks Ali, keeping it real 😉 see you tomorrow morning x

 

We went to our usual restaurant, had our meal, and were just finishing when the phone rang. It was my sister.

 “ The doctors have told us that Mum is dying. All her organs have failed and she is in a coma.  She’s definitely not going to make it through the night, and you are not going to make it here before she dies.”

 

My whole world collapsed in front of me. I could hardly speak for crying. It hurts now to write about that night

 

“ Poor old Mum “ I kept saying.” Please tell her I love her, and I’m going to miss her “

“ I’ll try , but she’s not conscious and she’s in a coma. Do you want to stay where you are? “

 

I considered this for a few seconds.. part of going home was to see Mum before she died. That wasn’t going to happen now, so what was the point.

 My family that was the point, my brothers and sisters who had stood guard over my mums bed for 4 days, waiting for me, their older brother to come back.

I suddenly felt the need to be with them, for their comfort and mine so I told my sister we were definitely coming back on the same flight and we would see them later.

Ok she said, and started to say something else, when she interrupted herself “ We’ve got to go now, I’ll phone you back straight away.

 

10 minutes later I was just sending

 

14/07/2011 20:16

Ali please tell her I love her, I’m going to miss so much & I’m sorry I wasn’t there when she needed me 😥 love to everyone I love you,alla

When I received

 

14/07/2011 20:16

Shes gone x

 

14/07/2011 20:18

Oh my god !!!!!! 😥

 

That was it. The rest of the evening was a blur.

I went and sat on the beach, the sea crashing on to the sand, tears streaming from my eyes, rolling down my cheeks and dropping into the dark blue mass of the sea.

For a minute I thought about throwing myself in there too, but I pulled myself together enough to walk back up to the restaurant and announced

 “ She’s dead… Mum’s dead! “

We said our goodbyes in a river of tears, I don’t know how we got to the airport, I drove apparently but I don’t remember any of it.

 

72 years ago

When we got to the airport,  my wife told the rep what had happened and asked him to help us check in, which to his credit he did

We then had a nightmare of a check in, with the check in girls demanding that we open the cases up to show them what was in there

“ It’s all fucking dive stuff “ I exploded, tears rolling down my cheeks.

“ ‘I’m sorry “ she said “ I’m really sorry, I have to do this, I have to check, I’m sorry I’m sorry “

She could see what a state I was in, and to be fair it wasn’t her fault, but right then, out of all the times and all the flights I’ve taken in my life, I really didn’t need all this hassle.

We finally checked in and boarded the flight.

I had missed her by just a few hours.

 

If only’s were running my head then and are running through my head even now.

If only we had got an earlier plane, if only we hadn’t gone on holiday if only if only if only.

 

Mum was gone and my life was about to change.

Time to go home now and face the future.