My dear old Mum died one year ago today. My sisters and I sat by her side together for three days as her body slowly ticked down like a clock that really did not want to be wound up any more.
Mum was deeply unconscious by the time I arrived from Australia. She did not know I was there, but I know and it was important. At the time I was sad for her, that her death came through stopping eating and drinking, though I know this is the way for many old people.
I thought that this way wouldn’t be what I would choose for myself. But, you know, it gave my sisters and I time to be together and to get used to the idea that she really was going to die. We did not enjoy the time when she would breathe softly and then take great big breaths. Not that there was everyany pain, we feel sure.
When the end came, Mum’s breathing just grew more and more shallow until it just stopped, then we opened the window for her soul to travel outside where she loved most to be. And we kissed her goodbye, for the last ever time.
Over the three weeks I was in Scotland, I was drinking a fair bit and often feeling the worse for wear. Oh dear… at that time the idea of not having any wine at all would have just been untenable. I would have said I needed it to relax, to destress, to deal with all the emotional upsets.
And there’s NO WAY I would have not taken up the offer of free French champagne on the flights.
Oh well, Mum would be so happy that I am not drinking at all now. Mum wasn’t a drinker and she had let us know very clearly that there was to be no alcohol at her wake after the funeral. And the reason why? Well, that’s another story.
My darling husband bought me a bonsai as a Christmas present, as a reminder of Mum who was a green-fingered gardener who grew many beautiful bonsai trees and loved them dearly. How kind of my husband, and how apt as a way to remember and to honour the memory of Mum.