I knew then that she would die.
The afternoon that I got the call had been one filled with hope. Viewings for two flats, potential new homes for me and my husband and my son. A walk down to the prom for an ice cream and a scoot and lungfuls of fresh spring air.
We were almost ready to head to the pizza restaurant which was intended to mark the beginning of our Easter holiday when the text came:
The absence of the second ‘L’ still bothers me today. After everything that we have been through. The tests and the worry and the life changing moments. The death, a funeral and the box of burnt up bones that now sits in my home with my beautiful Mam’s name engraved into the top. And yet, the missing ‘L’ still niggles.
I’d barely time to wonder why I should call when she phoned my husband’s mobile. Before I knew it I was driving to hers, worried about what I would find. Worried about what had already gone from my life.
Standing by her bed, watching my Mam drift in and out of consciousness, I knew then that she would die. She told me not to phone the doctor. For the first time, I knew that I would.
I called and I waited. I tried to help, and I tried to steady myself for what was to come.
The pizza went unordered, the Easter holiday abandoned.
Little did I know that it would take 66 days, but she did die. So much of who she was had died that night in her flat, nine weeks before her final breath. And yet so much of us, as a mother and a daughter, remained.
My Mam. On 13th June 2017. She died.
Just as one day I will throw her ashes into the winds I will use this blog to scatter some of my thoughts and feelings on something so surreal, so truly horrible and yet so disturbingly life-affirming. I hope neither blows back into my face!
I’ve been advised by friends and professionals that I need to sit still and just be with my grief. I find this incredibly difficult to do but when I achieve it, I also find that it really does help. It is in the stillness where I meet my Mam and it’s also where I confront my grief head on. For every person who tells me that she wouldn’t want me to be miserable (and this is true), I want to shake them and tell them just how wonderful she was and how much she deserves to be missed, to be yearned for.