I have spent the past six days debating whether or not to write this journal. But I decided that I should bring closure to my previous entries, and to my mind.
It was in the early hours of the Wednesday 19th October, that I got the call I had expected, yet dreaded for many months. The call from my brother to say that our mother had taken a turn for the worst. For the past 10 months, she had bravely fought cancer, but in the end, she had lost to this vile disease.
Thankfully, she spent her finals days in the care of wonderful people at a local hospice. They gave her the love, care and most of all, the dignity that she deserved. A dignity that cancer tried its best to rob from her.
The sight of her when we arrived will stay with me forever, just as those of her brothers and sisters have that she cared for at the end of their lives. Although they took care to prepare us, the gaunt, frail and tiny body of our mother laying there, was heartbreaking. She was tucked up lovingly with a teddy bear a friend had bought her, just like a child waiting to go to sleep.
No sooner had we gone to get a coffee, expecting a long night, then the nurse came into the waiting room to tell us she had gone. Part of me hopes that she knew we were there, and felt at peace. That she felt she was then able to go and be with our father who died 35 years before.
There are a pain and an emptiness that comes with the loss of a parent that can’t be explained or quantified. The thought that this monumental figure in your life will no longer be there to share your success and failure as they have before. That despite everything, they look upon you with pride and love.
My brother and I have lost more than a mother, we have lost a confidant, a friend, a champion of our cause and a cheerleader. All this wrapped in the loving arms that greeted us each time we saw her.
Regret is the natural part of grief, it can cause you to second guess every action you took or didn’t take. But it doesn’t change the ending, it doesn’t help with the grief, and it won’t bring her back.
Instead, I will turn my energy into being the person she would have wanted me to be. The one she was so proud of, and with each success or failure, I will remember that to her, no matter what, I was her son, and she loved me.
I love you mum, rest in peace xx