Monday, 7 December 2009
Its been a good few weeks since I last posted (well months if I'm honest), but life has changed dramatically for us all in the past 6 weeks. This has not been an easy post to write, and I dearly wish it will not unduly upset anyone who reads it.
I took this picture on my daughters 6th Birthday, Hope is her middle name (& it would have been her first, had the pesky husband not intervened). Hope, because after a tottering old time of it with her brother, I had hoped that my second child would allow me to hope that I was a good mum, and that this time I would enjoy my baby.
However the word hope has been even more pertinent to me in the past few weeks since.
6 weeks ago I sat with my mother-in-law whilst the GP gently told her that she had multiple secondary spreads of cancer in her liver, and that even when they found the original site, treatment would only be palliative.
My feisty 75 year old, 5"2 pocket rocket of a mum, who line danced, rambled, swam & yoga'd her way through the week. My mum who claimed looking after my two little people twice a week kept her young.
Her decline and death last Wednesday morning, was rapid & a huge shock for us all, we are still feeling the full force of what we have faced. But all through the past few weeks I have hoped that she would not suffer, hoped that we would draw strength as a family, hoped that I could be strong to support my husband and children.
The nature of my job has often meant that the children have had open and honest discussion about cancer and about death. I think this has helped in their understanding of what has happened to Grandma. For the 9 year old, Cancer has been explained as a gang of cells misbehaving & not doing what they have been told to do, a bit like teenagers, they have gone where they shouldn't & done what they have been told not to do (Yep, my 9 year old thinks that teenagers are rebels....)
I am so hugely proud of my children - at 6 & 9 they have shown an emotional intelligence that I had not expected, dealing with Grandma's rapidly declining health with amazing sensitivity, yet with a natural approach to it fitting in with daily life.
She died at home, as she had hoped to do, on as ever, her own terms. The hospice and district nursing teams provided the support and care I had only hoped for.
I hoped she would not die on her birthday (or mine), instead it was in between our special days. (I have to admit not knowing whether to put my birthday cards next to the sympathy cards - surely 38 yrs old isn't that bad?!)
I hope that this week that my mum's funeral & cremation is not to distressing for my husband, and most of my little people who wanted to attend, and I hope that I have prepared them well.
I draw strength from knowing that I did all I could to help her, and that I was blessed to have the last conversation with her, to tell her how much I loved her & to thank her for all she had done for me, before she fell into a deep pain free sleep. I have been touched from the kind words & cards of support from the most unexpected people.
I hope that time will be a healer, and that we can gather the memories of her with hope in our hearts that whilst much loved and missed, she will always be with us.
I hope that in the new year we can settle into a new routine of childcare without to much stress for the little ones. I hope that I can settle my mind, so I can go back to work able to do my job well. That a sense of normality will resume.
Thankyou for all the lovely posts I have been able to dip & read, to be able to share in the warmth and pleasures of day to day life. It has helped so very much.
Love Lydia xx