Sunday, 15 March 2015

#326 She is Gone - Mother's Day 2015 - my first without my mum

Some may see this post as self-indulgent, it is not meant to be, it is the most personal thing I have ever shared online, and I will no doubt have a lot of "delete it" moments but for now, it seemed fitting that I write it and post it today, Mother's Day (in England, I know you celebrate it another day in the US).

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message she Is dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that she would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W H Auden (with a few little changes by me)

I have never written a personal post on this blog but I have been really overwhelmed by the support of my inworld friends, designers, and strangers, when for some reason I have had to tell them I am not at my best at the moment.  For those that don't know, my lovely mum passed away Feb 20 after a long and brave battle against Parkinson's Disease amongst other conditions, though it was pneumonia and sepsis that took her away from us.

My life for many years has revolved completely round my mum, as her carer and I am really lost at the moment.  She was great company with a wicked sense of humour and we were very close.  I took her on holidays (my dad having died over 20 years ago) and day trips for many years, but after she was badly hurt in a hit and run and spent three months in hospital, everything changed.  She had to walk with a stick and lost her confidence and never left the house alone.  I still took her for lunch when she was well enough and got her out whenever I could, but over the last few years she wasn't well enough to leave the house, and for much of last year she was bedbound.  She never lost her sense of humour and there was a lot of laughter, even during the bad times.

The last five months were really tough, she went into hospital early November, even spending Christmas and New Years there.  She was discharged early January but within a few days had an attack (of what we didn't know) and to call an ambulance again, never imagining that she would never be home again. Although her mind was sharp as a pin usually, in hospital she suffered from delirium much of the time, suffering really bad paranoid delusions which were so difficult to deal with - and has left me in awe of those that care for people with Alzheimer's or Dementia.  I have no idea how you do it.

Twice they were on the point of discharging her, and I got her room all ready, bought her new pillows and even a baby monitor so if she needed me in the night I would hear her. Both times, however, she got an infection and had to stay in.  

Then suddenly she started deteriorating, but they put her on antibiotics and she rallied, but two days later started deteriorating again and the doctor called us over and said the words I can't even repeat here because they are the words no-one wants to hear about a loved one. 

Her last few days were a nightmare I can't even describe.  My dad died peacefully in his sleep, but my poor mum didn't have that, she had two days of hell, and that is what continues to haunt me, and I doubt I will ever be fully free of that.  Our last visit she didn't know we were there, but that was a blessing, because she seemed a lot more peaceful than the previous two days (morphine has its uses).  I was going back that evening but got a call to say we needed to get there quick, but when we got to the ward the doctor told us we were ten minutes too late, she had gone.

On Monday they are coming to take all the special equipment we have had the use of - a special bed, a bath chair etc.  It breaks my heart again every time something like this happens because it makes me have to face up the to fact she is not coming back. Of course I know she isn't, but I am having a really hard time accepting it.  

I know some people wonder why I have carried on logging in to sl and blogging at a time like this.  It has actually been a blessing, it gives me something to do, keeps my mind occupied, and I really need that.  Styling is taking longer than usual, and I am scrapping whole posts because I don't like what I have done with it, but even so I am really glad that I have both sl and the blog to keep me occupied.

Finally, from an unexpected source (you know who you are, thank you), another poem, which is much more positive than the Auden one, and knowing my mum, this is what she would want for me: 

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived. 

You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she has left. 

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
or you can be full of the love you shared. 

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. 

You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. 

You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back

or you can do what she would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

There is one more angel in heaven tonight, 20 Feb 2015, RIP mum, I will love and miss you forever.  

Thank you so much to all of you who have been so supportive, and kept me logging in - my friends, designers, bloggers, strangers, and of course Tomm, my rock, and the two Pets.  Some of you have been a shoulder to cry on, some have made me smile at a time when I really thought I would never smile again. 

If anyone out there reads this and has been through something similar, or is going through it, feel free to drop me a line anytime if you need someone to talk to.


  1. I'm sorry for your loss, Zsa. It's never easy. My thoughts and prayers are with you during these difficult times. <3

    1. Thank you so much Zee, and though we don't talk often, your name always makes me smile, you are one of sl's bright lights xx

  2. Beautifully written Zsa, writing is a great way to remember and share.