It is one week since my mother died. Last Friday morning I drove across town to be with her for the last time. The Darling Gardens were shrouded in fog and a shimmery, unreal kind of morning light . By lunchtime the day was transformed by glorious late winter sunshine, streaming through the windows. But all this played out in the background, as I sat by my mother’s bed, holding her hand, talking to her gently although she probably couldn’t hear me. I kept holding her hand as various doctors and nurses came and went and the life of the hospice continued around us – the plumber banging away at the pipes in the bathroom, another patient being moved into the bed opposite my mother and all the associated business. Finally my mother was moved to a quite space, a lovely room to herself away from the clatter, and there she spent her last minutes. I think she waited because she knew I wanted to be alone and somewhere quiet where we could be together for the last time. I watched my mother draw her last breaths, I held her hand, I told her it was OK to let go, that I would be alright , that everything would be alright. And then it was over. Perhaps the hardest part was leaving her. My beautiful mother, lying still, no breath, and the warmth of her body gradually fading. I stayed with her for two hours and stroked her cheek and kissed her gently on her forehead and smelt her hair and touched her hand - all for the last time - and then I had to say goodbye.
In loving memory of my mother.