Mum


Mum died last Tuesday, Remembrance day. She had been in the hospice for nearly two weeks and she became sicker quite quickly. Actually it all happened a lot more quickly than I expected. Even so we had some good visits with her and she was fairly with it up to a few days before her death. Grace and I visited on the Saturday before (in between visiting Gerard in two different hospitals - he is fine and back home) and I visited again during the day on Tuesday. The hospice looked after Mum very well and they minimised her discomfort as much as they could and I don't believe she was in any pain. However her breathing was difficult and I'm glad she could let go when she did.

It's a queer old time. I don't think the full weight of grief and loss has hit me yet. Been going through photos and planning to help Betty tidy up her garden for the funeral. There will also be a Northland trip as Grace has nothing to wear and I should be sewing something black for me. I'm thinking about speaking at Mum's funeral and thinking about what I would want to say. It's obvious that I would talk about how Mum delivered Frank and how she was there for me in a really big way afterwards. I could also talk about how Mum came to my ultrasound appointments and other results appointments when I was pregnant with Grace. How we danced with happiness when we found out that Grace was OK and a girl (although I would have been just as happy with a boy). I could also talk about how she was young and glamorous when we were children, how she drew us and the neighbour children pictures of her upcoming tubal ligation (a bit not done in those days).

I don't know whether to mention her smoking or not. She loved her cigarettes and sometime in the last week when I visited her, she said, I do smoke you know, as she was being wheeled outside for a fag. I used to love smoking too and there were times we loved to smoke together, as people do. But I was angry that she couldn't give up. I wanted more time with my mother, more time for Grace to have her grandmother. In the end I kind of let go of that anger so that I could have time with her. Who knows whether it will bite again. This is what I was thinking about in the shower (as sung by Joan Baez on one of our much played childhood car tapes).

Be not too hard for life is short
And nothing is given to man
Be not too hard when he is sold or bought
For he must manage as best he can

Be not too hard when he blindly dies
Fighting for things he does not own
Be not too hard when he tells lies
Or if his heart is sometimes like a stone

Be not too hard for soon he'll die
Often no wiser than he began
Be not too hard for life is short
And nothing is given to man
And nothing is given to man




6 comments:

  1. Thinking of you & your family.

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  2. Janet I'm so sorry to hear this news. You're all in my thoughts. Take care xxxx

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  3. It's very hard, and you've had a hard year too. You have always spoken very lovingly about your mother whilst at all times being clear sighted about her strengths and weaknesses. That's what I love about you.

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  4. So sorry Janet, just so sorry.
    Sending you love and hugs.
    Those family photos are just beautiful xx

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  5. So sorry to hear that your mother passed away Janet. I hope that during the times of remembering her wonderful spirit that you get to smile with happiness thinking of her. It is always so hard to lose someone so important in our lives. Your daughter Grace seems to resemble her quite a bit in those photos.

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  6. So sorry Janet to hear of your news. I remember your lovely Mum from Arcadia. My own father died last year on Rememberance Day, so I think I understand something of what you may be going through (and a bit of what is ahead). Take good care of yourself in the coming weeks and months, Cathxxx

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