It’s 7 years today since Mum died. She was very ready to die and we knew that. Ailsa and some of her family were here, by coincidence, and we spent the last 36 hours by her bedside at the home.
Released with love? Yes. Grateful she could finally let go? Yes. But…
Tony and I were Mum’s caregivers for 14 years, so Mum was a big part of my adult life. I miss her company. I miss telling her random stuff about my day. I miss reading to her from A A Milne, or new picture books that I think would make her laugh. She loved the ‘Walter the farting dog’ series.
We bought her a hospital bed and it had a wonderful memory foam mattress – I used to nap on it in the sun on a Sunday afternoon while she snoozed in her lazyboy chair. Mum sometimes said, as I held her hand to cross the road, that we’d swapped roles from when I was a toddler, and that was true. But as she watched over me while I napped, she was the caregiver again.
My brain is always restless for a couple of weeks prior to today’s anniversary. It’s not as awful as it was the first few years, when I had disturbing dreams. Once today is over, I come right.
Someone asked me, kindly, last night if there was some guilt I need to let go of? Maybe – Mum had wanted to die at home, but spent 6 months in the rest home (of her own choosing). Or perhaps it’s just that today marks a massive change in my life and the restlessness is my way of acknowledging that.
Either way, I miss you Mum. I’m pleased we had those 14 years together. It was hard work, but I got time with you most daughters don’t get, and that’s a privilege in today’s busy world. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.