Most of this week’s post was first published on Instagram on Sunday 19th April 2020. You can see the original post, and the comments it received here on Instagram.
Today would have been my mum’s 95th birthday. She died in hospital 3 days ago. I know the first question at this time will be whether the coronavirus played a part.
Fortunately, it wasn’t the cause of death, but it has certainly played its part. For the last 4 weeks, as she was moved from ward to ward and hospital to hospital – she did so without any of her family being able to see her, to speak to her, to share a joke or memory that might raise a smile, to hug her or hold her hand. And that’s just not right.
On her last night one immediate family member was allowed to be by her side. I’m so glad that my brother – currently stranded in the UK away from his own home and family in Spain (while another brother is locked down at his home in France!) was able to be with her.
I take comfort from the fact that she is now at peace and will suffer no more. But still, none of this is right and it all cuts me to the core.
This sketch, of her favourite chair, was done just after we were told that we could no longer visit mum. Painting it felt like a way of being close to her. It taught me that it’s really hard to paint when you’re crying. It’s not one I’m particularly proud of but, on this particular day, my mum’s 95th birthday, I don’t care.
Happy birthday mum. I bloody love you!! x
No tags today. Only tears.
Now I know that I’ve posted this image here on the blog before but, even though I’m not especially proud of it, its emptiness now has a poignancy that goes far beyond anything I could ever have imagined.
I may write more about my mum in a future post. I have in mind some kind of obituary but right now, I just don’t have it in me. I’m already finding it challenging – living in a small flat with my family in lockdown – to find the physical and emotional space to properly grieve.
The funeral, such as is allowed, will take place this Friday. In the meantime, I need to drink lots of water for there are floods of tears still to come.
Rest in peace mum. I love you so much.
I have been incredibly heartened and comforted by the many messages expressing support and sympathy that I have already received. If you have already left a message or been in touch, please don’t feel the need to respond again here.