Tag Archives: sorrow

What Goes Around….

For My Mum


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


 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



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



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.


Five days of life…

Five days of struggle

Five days left, that’s all she had this time last year, just five days.

As detailed in previous posts, Mum had had a “ trip “ on the 2nd July, spent some time on the floor of her bedroom ( we think) and had been taken into hospital suffering from dehydration, aches and pains and general feeling of malaise, but not appearing  to be in any danger, so there was no point telling me as I would be worried out of my mind.

During the week though, her condition had worsened, there was a lot of other stuff going on – care issues or lack off, etc, but now is not the time for those –  and by the end of the week it was decided that I better be told and  today (Saturday last year) 9th July, I received a text from my sister,short and to the point.

“Hi, nothing to worry about, can you give me a call please “

Which meant trouble.

Either it was our house… or something had happened to Mum.

Somehow I knew instantly which one it was. It was about 7.15pm Kos time, 5.15 pm back home, we were just about to start getting showered and dressed for an evening out after a hard day on the beach enjoying ourselves.

“Hello “I said, “What’s up with Mum? “

How do you know its Mum?

“Because you wouldn’t want me call you for anything else “

72 years ago

We had this agreement that she wouldn’t call if anything happened to the house while we were away, mainly because there would be nothing we could do, and I would only spent the rest of our holiday worrying.

Before we had left, my sister and I had had a big discussion about Mum, her tablets, and general health. Whilst I was very worried, I wasn’t unduly concerned, because I thought at the worst, if she had a fall, she would end up in hospital, where she would get 24 hour care, where they would see how frail she had become, and do something about it.

Joking I had said to my sister “If anything happens to mum, don’t tell me, and if she dies, don’t let them bury her without me being there “.. How that one was going to come home to roost…

So I knew that it must be something serious.

My sister proceeded to tell me all about what had happened, how she and my other sister had been round at Mum’s house on Friday 1st July and mum had been ok, pleased to see them, and full of beans (my other sister was supposed to be staying that weekend, but couldn’t due to family commitments back home) and had seemed well, with no sign of what was to come.

How my brother and his wife had been at Mum’s until 8pm on Saturday  2nd July the day after, and she had seemed ok, though a little tired, how at some time either that night or Sunday 3rd July she had fallen over, and had been found the next afternoon by the carer, and how she was now in hospital, where she had been ok for the last 6 days, but that her condition had started to worsen a bit, and they thought they ought to tell me.

I burst in to tears, I was distraught, I couldn’t believe it… 2 days without us being there that’s all she lasted, poor old mum, on the floor, then in hospital, I felt so sorry for her… and so guilty that we weren’t there.

I asked if I could talk to her, but my sister said the phone line in the hospital wasn’t very good, and anyway, mum was spending a lot of time asleep ( I later found out that she actually meant unconscious ), that she was on painkillers which were making her drowsy, and that after that Saturday she only came round a few times, and those were very short periods.

I should have twigged then, but I didn’t… instead I asked my sister to give mum our love, tell her we hoped she was ok, and that we would see her when we got back…. and carried on with the night, making plans for the future, how I might go part time and look after mum, how my wife could cook dinners for her, and I / we would take them round. How if needs be, I would go round to see her every night…basically, how our lives were going to be put on hold for a bit until Mum got better, or sometime in the future until she died, which could be anywhere between 1- 5 years hopefully.

I never thought it then, and I still can’t believe it now that she only had 5 days left.

How I wish I had phoned her anyway, how I wish I had spent more time with her when I had the chance. They say you never know what you have until you lose it….

How true that is.





10 Days To Go…

This time last year, today 4th July, Independence day, I was away on holiday in Kos, a lovely island in the Dodecanese area of Greece, enjoying the sun, having a laugh with Greek friends, and having a well earned (so I thought) break for me and my wife, before we got back and the serious business of looking after my Mum began again.


Only it didn’t.


This time last year, Mum had been lying on her bedroom floor for approximately 36 hours, after a “ trip” – never a fall, poor old lady – in pain, dehydrated, and all messed up because she was too weak to reach the toilet.

In anticipation of any problems that might have occurred whilst we were away, I had arranged for a carer to come in every day, to keep her company for a bit, to make sure she had some contact with someone during the week, and just in case anything did happen, and she was incapacitated in anyway, she wouldn’t be left for a long time on her own.

I had also arranged for a “ Careline “ telephone alarm system to be fitted, just in case she did have a fall, all she had to do was push the button, and help would be arriving promptly.


Sadly, she didn’t use the Careline alarm, as apparently she had been worried about what would happen if she did use it, even though I had explained to her that the operator would run checks to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm, and if she did need help ( which she did ) then they would notify the list of key holders, and if they were unavailable, they would call the paramedics who would be able to let themselves in by way of a coded key safe device that the Careline operators knew the code for.


What actually happened was that the carer came round at 2pm on the 4th July, found Mum on the floor in a right state, and she called the ambulance right away.

Mum apparently was very apologetic – she was a proper lady – tired and weak, but awake and aware that it was Independence Day in theU.S. as she had been watching it on the TV.

How long she had actually been watching it for she couldn’t remember, but the lights in the house were all on, suggesting that it was dark when she had tripped and fallen.

She was in pain, complaining of aches in her legs, and shoulders – they thought she might have broken something, but didn’t know what- but overall in quite good spirits considering her ordeal.

So good indeed that my family didn’t tell me that anything had happened as they didn’t want to worry me, and they knew that was would happen, plus she wasn’t that ill then, no one knew that she was dying, not even Mum.


It breaks my heart to think of her lying there, unable to get up, passing in and out of consciousness, patiently waiting for help.

I know that if I had been here, she WOULD have either used the careline or phoned me, as I would have been round there like a shot. Whether that would have made any difference to the eventual outcome and her death is under scrutiny, according to the pathologist at the inquest, her body was already shutting down and she was on her last legs at that point, so probably it wouldn’t have, but at least she wouldn’t have spent all that time on the floor on her own, and who knows, it MIGHT have made a difference.


I think about her a lot anyway, but today especially, all I can think about is this time last year. I imagine her on her bedroom floor, a frail frightened dehydrated weak old lady, waiting for help and I wonder if when the ambulance men took her out of her house, she had even the slightest inkling that she would never come back, and that the last glimpse she had of her house as they closed the ambulance door, would be the last time she saw the place, her home, her safe place and castle for the last 50 years.

Poor old Mum.


10 days to go…….



100 Days

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26 Weeks

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