I lost my Mum when I was 31 years old, my daughter was 4 and my son was 8 months old and it still hurts like hell! People say it gets easier but they lie! It doesn’t get easier at all, you just learn to live life differently.
She wasn’t just my Mum, she was my best friend and I loved her with all my heart. Life without your parents is so hard but you really don’t understand how hard until it happens to you. I’m the first to lose Mum in my circle of friends so none of them really understand how hard it is. They can’t really console me so I don’t talk about her.
When Mum was with us, we all used to check on her often as she was very poorly during the last 15 years of her life with a long list of ailments we used to roll our eyes at. But we loved her. She was such a kind and loving lady who would always be there to listen to your problems while secretly needing to talk to someone herself. She loved all her children and stepchildren as well as all the grandchildren. Mum and Dad were both married before so we were a big family. Unfortunately, I don’t see any of dad’s children, my half brothers and sister, nieces and nephews and I guess if I walked passed them in the street they wouldn’t know who I was. In fact, I have. I’ve said hello to two of my nephews on separate occasions and neither of them knew who I was. Just a polite unacknowledged nod. My Mum cared about everyone. She remembered everyone and never left anyone out. To the day she died she saved every penny she had to be able to buy gifts for all the grandchildren, even the ones she never saw but not by her choice. It upset her not seeing them. Once Dad died the visits almost completely stopped which pained her. Which was why it was so important she got to see her grandchildren regularly, I didn’t want my children to not know who their Nanny was. They saw her twice a week without fail. I made sure of that.
The day I lost my Mum was a Sunday. I got woken up at 5.30am when my sister called to tell me that Mum was in the hospital with a suspected stroke. I got dressed straight away and drove myself to the hospital to see my Mum. My thoughts were she would get better and we would help look after her no matter what it took … She was too young to die at 67 and leave us. She needed to live to hold and love her grandchildren and see them grow up.
When I arrived I was very shocked at seeing her looking so ill. My sister had called an ambulance during the night when she had heard a low, deep grunting noise she thought was Mum’s cat Pepsi but was in fact, Mum. She checked her and knew it was a stroke just by looking at her. She couldn’t move or speak. We don’t know how long she was laying on her bedroom floor for but we think she was trying to get to my sister for help, who was sleeping in the other room. My sister has told me she feels terrible for not getting there sooner and we told her not to worry that she couldn’t do anything more. It was the middle of the night. She was living with Mum due to personal circumstances. We just are thankful that she heard her. We got to say goodbye.
She was very poorly and I could tell that by looking at her. After we took turns to speak to Mum we left her to be transferred to the ward to await a bed on the high dependency ward. Everyone was tired as they had been there all night. I wasn’t called until later in the morning … being the youngest of four children I wasn’t to be worried!
We were all sat next to Mum, around her bed with the curtains pulled round to give us some privacy. This was ironic really as everyone in the beds could hear us talking. We asked for a side room but there wasn’t one available but as soon as there was she would be moved there. We had to prepare ourselves for the worse as the doctors told us she wouldn’t make it. The CAT scan showed she had banged her head which caused a clot to form in her brain in a place that couldn’t be operated on. It was the end for Mum and we should all prepare ourselves.
I was upset as was my sister and brother’s but we sat and waited, just talking amongst ourselves in hushed tones while remembering the things Mum would say. We tried to not face the fact that in the next few days Mum would pass away to go to heaven and join Dad. It was just a matter of time.
My brother and sister had been there since the night before so decided that they should go to the cafe to get something to eat and drink. We went to the cafe and got a coffee and sandwich. I just sat there while we chatted about mundane things like work and the children. That was the moment my world changed! I felt selfish because of it.
My brother’s girlfriend came running into the cafe and said, ‘You need to come quickly, it’s your Mum!’ We all jumped up, abandoned our drinks and food and followed as we all ran up the long corridor to the ward where we left Mum, my brother and wife.
We were taken into a side room, it was all quiet and my brother said, “She’s gone! She was quiet and when I checked her, she wasn’t breathing. I was holding her hand”.
In that moment my world began to spin. I cuddled my brothers and sister. I didn’t cry. I was strong. I wasn’t going to cry in front of people even my siblings. I just don’t cry in front of people. Ever! No matter what the circumstances.
We were led into the ward where they had left Mum in the same position as when we went for a coffee. We all went to her and gave her a kiss and said goodbye. Then we left her there. On her own. I regret that. I wish I had stayed there longer. I didn’t want to leave her on her own. She was always on her own. I only left because everyone else did. When I used to go to visit Mum on a Saturday I would go for hours to spend time with her and once my sister moved in I spent a little less time there as I knew she had company.
I miss you Mum and the day you died was the worst of my life.
There have been many times that I’ve needed you to talk to. I wish you were still here and the thing that pains me the most is you never met or knew my youngest child. That hurts so much.