Mum died yesterday at ten minutes to six in the evening. I got that dreaded call in the morning and drove over to Musselburgh to be by her side.
It was a long and silent day. A day of hand holding and memories. My chatter, my tears, oh God even my singing – anything to pass the time with her and hope beyond hope that she was hearing me.
When I first arrived she was drifting in and out, she couldn’t speak but sometimes could nod yes or no to questions. “I love you so much Mum, do you love me back?” A nod that means the whole damn world to me, a treasure to clutch to my heart and hold tight to like a child afraid of a storm and holding an outstreatched loved hand for safety, comfort and hope.
I think my Mum lost her life over six years ago when my Dad died. She had been his constant companion. His bickering partner but love of eachothers lives. Her meaning was gone when he left her world. There was nothing left to work for and time began to take it’s toll in the cruelest of ways.
Never take vitality and health for granted my friends, it can be swept away in an instant, or in an insidious and withering ache that lasts for years.
She always said that the best thing I ever did was have Idgy. I had resented that feeling it made me worthless and only good as something for reproducing someone better. Now I see that she never meant that at all. Idgy is my precious gift and I was able to bring her into this world. My Mum couldn’t have children of her own, so Idgy was that much more special. I’m so sorry Mum, now I understand.
There were three of us there yesterday in the final moments. She had her wish and held both of our hands. Differences and fights forgotten in a moment of total all encompassing love.
It was a long vigil but something I felt I owed her for all those years she had been there for me. If I eased her way into the next world I will have done something to be proud of. The ticking of the clock was loud in the silence. You can’t read, you can’t look away. You are there just to be There, not to fill your head with anything else apart from that beloved person and those precious moments.
Constant prayers for her just to let go, rest in peace.
She battled on until Colin finally arrived. Dealing with the grief in his own way that did not elate to mine, but this is no place for recriminations. This is the place for love.
This is the last photo of my Mum and it says it all, hands entined for the last day for the final journey. All those years when she held mine when I needed support, I hope my hand gave you comfort on the journey that I couldn’t take with you.
Oh Mum I didn’t want to let you go.
I love you now and forever more.
Helen Hamilton Gorrie 06.04.1920 – 15.11.2012
Your loving daughter and faithful friend
Karen xxx (yes Mum just for today I will use the name you gave me that I changed all those years ago).