Advantages Feel better for putting my feelings in writing
Disadvantages Brings back tears
I don’t think I either believed or disbelieved in life after death but now I am not so sure.After my dad died (10 years ago) my mam often said that he was still with her, she could hear the clothes hangars in her wardrobe move along the rail and sometimes she could feel him next to her in bed. There were lots of little things that happened that my mam was adamant happened because of my dad. I used to say that it was her imagination. Then on New Year’s Eve 2004 my mam saw a blue ball float over her half open bedroom door and float across the room and land on top of her wardrobe. She knew it was something from the spirit world but did not know who. Later that day, we found out that my dear uncle had died.
On 30 November 2006 my dear mam died at the age of 86 years. I had noticed her decline each time I travelled up north to see her – I could see her small frame twisting more and more until eventually she started to get a hunched back and I could see her face getting thinner. I could see her body was dying but I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted her to stay with me forever. She was my rock. Her home was always my home even though I had been married for 36 years. She was my mam and our mam should always be with us, shouldn’t she? Even though I live in Dorset I phoned my mam every day and I always knew she was there for me.At the beginning of November 2006 I got a call that my mam had had a heart attack and was in hospital. Everything stopped for me that day. My husband had just recently came out of hospital and was ill himself but told me to go up north and we arranged for my daughter to come and look after him. I travelled up north and went straight to mam’s house to drop off my suitcase then on to the hospital. I eventually found the Coronary Care Unit and saw my frightened, frail mam in a side ward. She looked so relieved to see me even though my two brothers had been visiting her.
I stayed with her and eventually after ten days the hospital discharged her and I took her home. The heart attack had taken its toll on her and she looked so pale but still had that fighting spirit in her that she would get better. After all, she was coming down to spend Christmas with me and my family and the doctors had told her that she could travel one month after her heart attack, providing nothing else happened in the meantime (I would go up north and pick up mam and bring her down to Dorset). That had cheered my mam up immensely – to know that she could have Christmas in Dorset with me and I used this as the ‘carrot in front of the donkey’ to help her get well again. I arranged for a very good meals on wheels service so that I knew my mam was getting a good hearty meal/dessert each day. After three weeks it was time that I needed to go back to Dorset as my husband also needed me and my boss had very kindly given me the time off work. My heart was heavy to leave mam but I had to do it and she wasn’t well enough to travel back with me. On the day of my departure we were both very sad but both trying not to cry. “See you in three weeks’ time when I come back up for you mam”.It was Friday when I left my mam. Phoned her every night as normal. Then on the fifth night after leaving mam I thought our phone call was strange. Mam sounded strange and put the phone down on me without saying “I love you” as we always did when we finished our phone call. No worry, I thought, I will ring her back after my bath. Just as I had finished my bath my brother rang and said mam had been rushed into hospital – her hairdresser had found her slumped in her chair – she had had a massive heart attack.
I just felt so guilty because I shouldn’t have left her, she needed me but so did my husband – I had been torn between the two of them. I managed to get an early morning flight up north and couldn’t sleep. My sister in law met me at the airport and she told me that the hospital had thought my mam would die during the night but my brother had told her (although she was knocked out with the drugs) that I was coming and they all thought she knew I was travelling up north and was waiting for me. I felt so relieved. I wanted to be with her when she died because she meant so much to me.She looked so pitiful when I saw her but she was still alive – just - and they thought if she came around that she would be like a vegetable Luck, we thought, was on our side, as my mam opened her small, reddened eyes and she saw us all with her (all except my sister who lives in Canada). Her children were there, she was happier. She had her gold cross and chain in her hand and tried to move her hand and point to something. I said “do you want to give it to Vicky”, no response, “do you want to give it to Rebecca”, no response, then with all the strength the poor soul could muster she pointed to me and said “you”. I burst into tears, she wanted me to have it even though she knew I wasn’t religious. That cross and chain mean the world to me now.
Mam died at 00.12 on 30 November 2006 and I was holding her hand as the death rattle beckoned. She was at peace now but I felt only guilt. I had left her that evening to go back to her home with my sister in law for a rest. We were taking turns to have rests. The nurses chased my brothers out of the room so that mam could go on the bedpan but the nurses left her on her own and she fell out of bed. My brother rang me to tell me what had happened. By the time I got to the hospital I was like a mad woman, when I saw my mam, covered in blood, bruises all over her face and her tooth had pierced through her tongue – the nurse and doctor were cleaning her up – I just went crazy – shouting at how could they let this happen to my mother – she was a frail, ill woman, shouldn’t have been left on her own. My mother’s eyes pleaded with me to stop shouting at them. The doctor kept trying to inject something into her veins but her veins were collapsing and she was in pain and her body started turning blue all over. I cried for him to ease her pain, she cried for me to help her go to the toilet, the nursing staff wouldn’t let her get up as she would die, she was so dangerously ill. I pleaded with the nursing staff to ease her pain and they gave her morphine. My brothers then came back into the room and my mam fell into a deep, deep sleep.In the days that followed, I didn’t have time to grieve, I was far too busy registering her death and sorting out her funeral, her house and her clothes and trying to do everything decently for her. My sister arrived from Canada and we sorted mam’s stuff out together. My family arrived for the funeral and we gave mam a very good send off. Lots of people attended and I was happy for her. I chose Celine Dion’s “Goodbye” track as it was the most appropriate one for my mam. It is all about a mother’s love for her children when she is dying.
My brother rang me and said that he had been looking at the only photo of my mam on his computer (I had sent it to him) and suddenly, the photo, on screen, was torn in two and then the photo file just disappeared. He kept saying “I’m telling you, my mam is about” but I didn’t believe him.As the weeks went by I thought my hurt would ease but it didn’t, it got worse and all I could think of was those few weeks before her death, the hours before her death, and how I could have managed things differently and perhaps prolonged her life for a few more days, perhaps a few more weeks even. I knew in my heart of hearts that mam was getting tired of life and death would eventually happen but I can’t accept it yet. I can’t accept that she has gone, that she has left me, one of her children. What can I do without her now? I keep asking myself this.
Then, a few weeks ago, strange things started to happen to me and my husband (who was very close to my mam as he had known her for over forty years). Our lounge door would open by itself – this is not possible as the carpet is so thick that you have to push it open. One of my dogs is terrified when these happenings start. Then my husband kept hearing a voice saying “are you there”. I was sitting in the lounge, on my own, when I suddenly saw a puff of smoke appear and disappear and there is no possible explanation as to why this happened. I saw what I can only describe as a bit of a cloud, again no possible explanation and, again, appear and disappear very quickly. At one time, I thought I felt a hand pat the top of my head and my husband said he felt a similar sensation also. I feel my mam is around my home, I just know she is still with me. Then, last week, my car key just disappeared from my key ring – it is nowhere to be found and it is costing me £146 to replace. Some presents for a very ill lady in Canada have totally vanished, a writing set given to me by a cousin for Christmas has vanished, a vase which was in its casing had been taken out of the casing and chucked in a corner. All these things are happening and there is only myself, husband and two dogs at home.My sister, in Canada, says that my mam is staying with me because she knows I still need her. My sister and two brothers have accepted her death and are moving on. My eldest brother has just been diagnosed with cancer and so has his own problems to deal with. My husband also thinks my mam’s spirit is staying with us because I won’t leave go.
I want to leave go but can’t. I miss her so much but I also want her to be at peace. I have contacted Sally Morgan, through her website – she is a psychic – and have asked for a telephone reading (Sally was on the TV for several weeks and she was absolutely excellent). I want to let my mam rest in peace but I just can’t get the hours of her death out of my mind. I didn’t realise just how much I would miss her. Your mother is always there isn’t she? For all your life, she is there to tend to your needs, say the comforting words when you need them and then suddenly, whoosh, she’s gone, bodily anyway, but I think her spirit is with me until I can help her to let go too.On reading this review before posting it, a thought suddenly struck me which I hadn't thought about previously. Perhaps my mam is trying to say "I love you" because she never got to say it during our last phone call and it was something we always, always said to each other after our telephone calls and when we said goodbye after our visits.
If you have any advice then I would like to hear it.
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