Friday, 14 September 2012

Requiescat in pace

We were out on the water when it happened, battling strong winds and wayward tides, trying to negotiate the sandbanks at the mouth of the river so we could sail the boat back to our home port. Daunted by the size of the waves and the hostile conditions as we headed out to sea, we turned back, making for the charming riverside town two hours upriver where we planned to spend another night, try again tomorrow.

There were three missed calls on my mobile when I went down below to change out of my foul weather gear and fear gripped my heart.  Something was wrong. My sister broke the sad news that she was gone, her heart had failed and she was lost to us.  My lovely mother.


I cannot yet even begin to comprehend my loss or work out how to live in a world where she is not. She has been part of my story all my life, her life entwined with mine and somehow in all the busyness of life, all the additional responsibilities of the last year since her health deteriorated so rapidly, I never really thought about this.  I was too busy living to think about dying.


She had a beautiful Requiem Mass early one morning at the little church on the green beside the river in the market town nearby.  She would have loved the service, the music, the flowers, having so many members of her family come to bid her farewell, as well as the love and laughter that flowed afterwards as we all sat down for lunch before heading back to our various lives.  


And yet, in some small corner of my mind, I still think that if I got into the car, drove the 10 miles cross-country to the Nursing Home where she spent her final contented months, greeted the staff, climbed the stairs, opened the door to her room, she would still be there to welcome me with a delighted smile, a big hug and a kiss, that I would coax her out into the garden to sit in the dappled shade of the old magnolia tree and share a cup of tea with her again.


 It was, in truth, as she would have wanted it; a quick, sudden ending.  She was spared more slow deterioration, the deepening of her dementia, the continuing failure of her body.  She was a good woman and very dear to us.  She will be much missed.  




"Few have maps and fewer still know which bright star might carry them home"

22 comments:

  1. My deepest sympathy to you at this time of such great loss. You have posted a touching memorial to a beloved mother.

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  2. I'm very sorry for your loss.
    Your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes; it was a lovely tribute to your Mum. She looks beautiful in the picture. x

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  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum, but you tell the tale beautifully and you were clearly very fond of her. Losing a same sex parent is particularly hard. I lost both parents well before dementia set in - but I see so many parents of friends now reduced to a shell, unable to recognise what is happening or who their friends are and with no quality of life at all. One day our children will lose us too. It's a sobering thought.

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  4. Thank you Rachel. It is very hard

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  5. She was beautiful Mimi and very special

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  6. Fennie, it is very sobering indeed and I guess we all hope that we will not be the ones left with no quality of life. I'm glad Mum still had something of herself and was still able to enjoy the life she had

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  7. Marianne - I am so sorry to read of your Mother's passing. This will surely be a raw and painful time for you. I am so sorry dear friend.

    Shining out of her face in that beautiful photo are humour and spirit. What a lovely lady and how you must miss her. I can't begin to imagine, it is a bridge I haven't yet crossed.

    I have read your immediate previous entries and understand that yes, it is a blessed release.

    I hope that peace and understanding come to you in the next months. I'll be thinking of you sitting in your beautiful garden and sometimes sailing that boat through squalls into sunlight.

    Very best regards,
    Kate X

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  8. Thank you Kate for the lovely thoughts. I wonder how you are coping these days? I feel you are still grieving deeply and hope that as time passes, you will find a way forward. We always carry the people we love inside ourselves, all our lives, and coming to terms with their loss is a huge challenge, but I am trying to be glad of all the good things in my life, the people who help to fill it. Much love x

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  9. I was moved by this posting, Marianne. Your mother looks lovely in the snap.
    I lost my parents 20 years ago...and yet they're often still with me...within my thoughts...and sometimes if I've a problem I can still imagine my dad's advice...
    Take care of yourself and enjoy happy memories as much as you can
    By the way, I deleted your comment on my blog by mistake...hope you'll come back sometime!!!

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  10. I'm so sorry for your loss. No matter our age, we always want our mothers. Try to find comfort in your many happy memories. And, while it will seem like a long time to wait, you will eventually be united.

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  11. I will certainly come by again Jan x

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  12. That is so true Sarajan. Now I have to be a real grown up. I miss her so much - some days are really hard.

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  13. My sympathies. The intensity of grief passes, the lovely memories emerge, but
    Even now, after 15 years, I occasionally think 'I must ring mum to tell her...'

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  14. Dear Marianne, I am so very sorry for your loss...
    This kind of end is so final, when the dear ones are forever gone...
    But hopefully you take comfort in the memories of the moments you have shared and the way she lives on in you.
    Accepting the circle of life is the only way to live...
    Much hugs to you
    xoxo

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  15. Dear Zuzana, Thank you for the kind and very wise words x

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  16. Oh dear - I've just popped over from Rachel's. I'm so sorry. I lost my mother 2 months ago so - I sympathise.

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  17. Hello Isabelle
    Thank you for the comment and the sympathy. It is very tough, isn't it? Hope you are coping.

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  18. And I guess every one of us hopes for a quick ending, if we are honest.All we can do is make the most of the time we are here, and enjoy it to the full. ♥

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  19. What a moving tribute to a wonderful mother now resting in peace.

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  20. Thank you for your comment. I've just been reading your past posts. You write so well. But not so recently? Do start again!

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  21. Such a difficult thing, losing a mother, but thank you for the support and kind words. The words come or they don't and I am very quiet at the moment.

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