This was always going to be hard for me to write down.
I needed to be in a particular frame of mind to even begin to be able to attempt this.
It's something that I have needed to do for myself personally and for a whole lot of other reasons. I've wrote this story in my head several thousand times. This week marks 8 years since I lost my Mum. 8 years, 8 years is almost 3000 days. Whilst I will hold back some really personal details to protect the people I love, I will do my best to write about her last week from my perspective, this week 8 years ago.
Complacency - A feeling of contented self-satisfaction, especially when unaware of upcoming trouble. There is no better sentence for it. I knew what was coming though, we had talked about it quite a lot. Nothing could even prepare me in the slightest to see how fast the human body shuts down under drugs. It's frightening, it still scares me now.
It was the weekend, it may have even been Sunday morning. I hear a painful cry for help. I do nothing. Mum had very limited mobility now and had fallen out of her bed whilst trying to get up. I can't explain why I didn't go to help her, what I know is it wasn't me acting. My head was talking but my body wasn't acting, i'm the most caring person, but in this situation I failed her. The emotional stress I was going through combined with the length of time Mum had been ill, I seemed to have developed a complacency towards her condition. I don't know what as human beings allows us to be like this, but it's our worst attribute.
I'm not going to lie, I didn't really know what was going on. I don't think anyone in our family did. Over the next few days these cries of pain were louder and deeper with more and more anguish. I remember coming home from school on the Monday or Tuesday and seeing a St. Johns ambulance outside of the house. This was strange because I hadn't heard anything, I must stress that I had no idea what was going on, I presumed that Mum was going to have to go into hospital for some more treatment to ease her pain. This was to be the last time she left our house.
Mum was in good spirits, she always was. We were told she was being transferred to the Joseph Weld Hospice so that it was a bit more comfortable for her whilst she was hurting. As a family we made the short trip round the corner. It was almost exciting that we were going somewhere new, it was a big room with a bed and seats around, quite homely. We could visit whenever and most importantly Mum was happy. We left her that night and were due to visit again the next day after school.
*What I know now is that she was moved to the Joseph Weld Hospice for one reason, in no uncertain terms they induced her death. Mum was dying, her organs were failing and this was the pain she had. Her vital organs that had battled so hard were exhausted. By giving her high volumes of strong pain killers she couldn't feel a thing that was happening and it was the best place for her to be.*
My next visit would change how I saw the world. On arrival to her room I was met by a sick looking lady. Very pale, sunken eyes and struggling for breath let alone talking, barely recognisable as the woman we all loved. She was shutting down so fast. It was heartbreaking and way more than I could take, I broke down and ran outside. I made myself ill through crying. My uncle Clive, Mums brother, was there with me. He calmed me down and eventually took me home.
That night Dad came up to to my room. Despite being scared to death, he managed to persuade me to go back and visit her the next day, it was and will continue to be the greatest thing Dad ever told me to do. My time was running out. The next part is a complete blur. I don't know whether it was morning or evening, I couldn't even say who was in the room with me at the time. Despite Mum gasping for breath I was able to give her a kiss and a hug and I told her that I "loved her forever", and she managed to tell me that she "loved us" and that she "did it for her boys". It was the last thing she ever said to me, something I hold so close to my heart. I was overcome with emotion again, I left the room leaving Dad and Clive to stay with her.
The next morning Dad called us downstairs to tell us Mum had passed away during the night. He was with her until the end.
In the space of days Mum had gone from being her normal self to no longer being with us. After going through the highs and lows over a long drawn out illness the speed of the final part of her life took us all by surprise. Even knowing it was going to happen for months, there was still nothing we could do to prepare ourselves for it and that was probably the hardest thing to deal with.
Mum being Mum had already organised the parental handover so to speak. Hand written cookbooks, details of people to contact, funeral arrangements and plans for the future, you name it, she had thought about it and prepared it. Many of these things are still being used now.
She taught me all I know but it was her illness taught me to live in the present and not the future. I reconstructed my view on how to live my life from what happened to her. I needed to make sure that if the same was to happen to me, the people who I love knew it and that I had achieved what I set out to do. Thanks to the foundation she built me, 8 years later, I'm right on track.
She was a flawless human being who was loved by so many and will continue to be at the forefront of my mind and thoughts for as long as I live. My promise to her was that she would never be forgotten and I will continue to carry out my part of that deal.
Thanks for reading
edit: 28/04/2013 I've done some digging and found these
EDMONDS WENDY ELIZABETH Peacefully on 7th April 2005 at Joseph Weld Hospice after a long illness bravely borne, aged 38 years. Loving wife of Andrew, dearly loved mother of Chris, Tom and George, daughter of Eric and Jenny Haskell, sister of Clive and sister-in-law of Helen. Private cremation will take place at Weymouth, thereafter all are invited to join the family for a celebration of Wendy's life at St. Mary's Church, Dorchester on Friday 15th April at 1.00pm. No dark clothes by request please. Donations to be divided equally between Fortuneswell Cancer Trust and Weld, Trimar and CCD Trust may be sent c/o Grassby Funeral Service, 8 Princes Street, Dorchester, DT1 1TW. Tel: (01305) 262338. Cheques for donations to be made payable to Grassby Funeral Service.
12:00am Saturday 9th April 2005
EDMONDS - Wendy. Dearly loved daughter-in-law to Sylvia and John Phillips and the late Ted Edmonds. Much loved and respected sister-in-law and aunt to the Edmonds, Joslin, Ash and Phillips families. Sadly missed by us all and remembered always for her brave spirit.
12:00am Saturday 9th April 2005