Before my mum died we had the chance to do lots of talking. We were advised she only had 10 to 14 days ,at the most, to live. The cancer had took hold and the doctors could do no more.
That period in time still leaves me cold, makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. It was awful. Waiting for the person you love the most in the world to die is soul destroying and extremely hard on your mind and body.
It is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever had to do . BUT I will always be grateful I got that time and as heart breaking as some of those conversations were, I got my chance to say goodbye to mum properly. I got to tell my mum everything; no stone was left un turned.
During those last few days we watched ‘Homes Under the Hammer‘, ate Portuguese tarts by the dozen [ it was the only thing she would eat ] and drank far too much coffee . Every morning on arrival at the hospital I would brush her hair, apply her favourite lippy and make sure her nails looked pretty
Mum shared her hopes and dreams for me, told me she loved me . I held her hand, watched her sleep and smelt her skin .Clinging on to her everything and praying they ,the doctors, had made a big mistake.
Mum demanded that I promise when she had died my brother and I go on and live our lifes to the fullest. She made me promise that I would not be sad forever and to write that book. The one I’ve been threatening to write ever since I started writing, and I’ve still not written! She reassured me that although shorter than she would have liked she had lived the most wonderful life. She reminisced about our family holidays in France, of various once in a life time trips abroad with dad . She excitedly told me about the time she spent in Bali on the beach with the elephants. Shared funny stories of her ladies weekends away with her friends .
My mum loved her life in a way nobody I’ve ever met has. She was so grateful for everything . She was childlike in her love for Christmas and birthdays and she loved having fun. Like mother like daughter.
She was my mum and I am bias , but she brightened up every room she walked into. She radiated kindness and people radiated to her.
The announcement of a further lockdown from Thursday for the next 4 weeks, after already spending 2 weeks in tier 3 stirred lots of unwanted emotions in me this morning .
I found myself thinking about and missing my mum. The empty void found aching for a reassuring ‘mum hug’. I found myself going over things I try to keep locked away. Did she suffer? Could we have done more?. I found myself crying into my breakfast . Like most things it is hopefully temporary. I’m sure I’ll be laughing again by lunch … but it is hard.
Its a horrible feeling … we are no better than a caged animal, all the fun parts of life put on hold. Spontaneity stripped away again. People’s livelihoods and businesses in the balance. BUT when I think of all those people who died of Covid, who never got chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, those who died alone and no doubt scared . That breaks my heart. To die by yourself in a hospital bed is the saddest of all endings – that thought alone is enough for me to not set foot out of the front door until December .
I see both sides of the lockdown argument.
I remember what mum said about living life to the full and I feel conflicted . This doesn’t feel like living- It’s feels like ground hog day. Existing . It’s hard to remain upbeat when everything you plan is cancelled time after time, you’ve lost your job and you can’t see your friends or family.
The sad truth is that until we find a vaccine, get this virus under some sort of control this is our way of life .
Nobody choose the Covid life , Covid choose us and he’s a stubborn fecker. He’s not going anywhere fast.
It’s very easy in hindsight to say what we should have done , what we could have done and I agree some things could have been handled alot better but in my opinion what could have been rarely resolves anything . Its an unprecedented situation and let’s be honest nobody really knows what to do [ Though I can thoroughly recommend having a good , old shout at your telly ,its great for releasing pent up tension.]
I have , like I suspect most of you have, followed every ‘rule’ religiously for the past few months or so. It is extremely frustrating that I occasionally witness people doing the exact opposite and flaunting the regulations before posting it all over social media .
We are in no better place now than we were back at the beginning of lockdown in April . Some of us maybe in an even worse place.
The next 4 weeks …
It is in our hands now. I guess it has always been. For me the next few weeks on lock down will involve lots of long walks in the middle of nowhere with Mollie dog. It will be savouring the colours of Autumn and taking in the cool air . Baileys Coffee with a slice [or two] of fruit cake, Christmas movies on repeat. Bubble baths , lots of bubble baths.
I will no doubt find myself at times over thinking the simplest of things. Giving myself a hard time, like I found myself doing earlier today. I will definitely find myself crawling walls at some point, missing my friends and in need of a massive blow out / bender. I never said it would be plain sailing but then nothing ever is.
Life is complicated … and messy… and beautiful . Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to see it.
I appreciate my way of coping may sound fanciful and annoying to some .. ‘there goes Tracey again hugging trees and counting her blessings’.
But it is my way of coping.
There is no wrong way.
I hope you find yours..
Stay safe ,