Now it’s 2016, almost six years since I began this blog, a year which my mother won’t see.  It may sound strange to say this about someone who we’ve known had a terminal illness for several years, but mum’s death on 6th November seemed to come out of nowhere and was for me, at least, a surprise and a shock.  I had been talking, thinking and writing about the fact that mum was leaving us for years so you would think I’d be fully prepared for the event and the fact that life would go on afterwards.  But for some reason – maybe it’s the winter season, I just don’t know – these days, now almost two months since we saw mum take her last breath, are days I didn’t anticipate or predict, and I can’t yet see how I’m going to get back to being the person I was back when mum was still her demanding, unique, infuriating self.  


We’ve had the first Christmas without her.  It was a lovely, joyful, classic, family Christmas.  My children left no stop un-pulled out to mark the occasion with cheer, family customs, lovely food and drink, and thoughtful comforts for me.  We’ve had the first New Year and I’ve had my first birthday without her.  We went into the sadness zone a couple of times but by far the predominant characteristic of it all was joy at being together and happy.  Now it’s really time for me to pull myself together, shake myself up, start making plans, start feeling positive.  And so far I am having zero success at this.  I just feel as if I want to light the fire and sit in front of it for hours and hours.  Even my garden, which has been my joy as long as I have had one, just looks like a muddy fungus farm right now.  I can’t see any point in investing time and energy on it.  

Or on anything else.  I should be cleaning house right now, but I’m not, and I suspect that when it gets dark again in about four hours time, I still won’t have.  I should be planning a taiko performance, I should be booking my ticket to Japan for cherry blossom season, but there’s no joy in it.  I’m stuck in the slough of despond.


Mostly I can’t get past the dreadful images in my mind of what mum looked like the whole of that last day, at the moment of death, and after they had laid her out.  A train of logical thought is trundling all the time towards the conclusion that this is what’s in store for us all, probably not far ahead now, and in the meantime I can look forward to all that mum went through between here and there, the loss of memory, personality, dignity, autonomy, the capacity to give pleasure to others.  This is a train of thought I’d rather not be riding but I can’t find the emergency cord to pull and stop it in its tracks.  These are indeed dark days.  IMG_20151108_173552


~ by fightswithivy on January 3, 2016.

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