September is a special month for me. I’m a Virgoan so it’s my birthday month and my mum and dad were also both Virgoans. It would have been my dad’s birthday on the 24th August and my mum’s on the 6th September. Strangely, my mum passed away on the 24th August 2013 – what would have been my dad’s birthday….
Recently, two of my blogging friends have lost their mums and I hope this post brings them a moment of comfort at this very difficult time as I recall my mum’s passing and share some very ‘spiritual’ moments I experienced..
I cared for mum, along with my two sisters and together, we supported her to stay in her own home as her dementia deteriorated over several years. Although mum suffered from short term memory loss, her mind remained incredibly sharp in other ways and she retained her sense of humour until her dying day… I think I shared more laughter with her in her last years of life because of the amount of time we spent together.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though – there were days where we struggled too, as she also retained her strength of character, her determination to be independent and her capacity to silence us all if she was angry about something…. She may not remember the conversation we had had a few minutes later but she could still ‘pack a punch’ with her words!
Her advice and guidance remains with me now and her words seem to pop into my mind at very appropriate times as I continue to feel her guidance … even though she is no longer physically present..
I don’t know whether this is my memory or her spirit but she is definitely still very much part of my life and her wisdom and character has come through in some of my blog posts as you may have noticed… https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/04/08/whats-the-use-of-worrying/
Having managed to support mum, to stay at home throughout her illness, following a slight stroke she was admitted to hospital and after a few days, her condition deteriorated and she slipped out of consciousness. I remained vigil by her side, knowing that if she came round, she would be totally confused about where she was, because of her dementia.
However, as her condition worsened it felt unlikely that she would… and as I sat that evening holding her hand, unexpectedly and one by one all my children, nieces and nephews arrived during evening visiting. They had each got the feeling that they should come to the hospital even though we hadn’t spoken …
We all sat around her bed in that hospital ward and each shared our memories – laughing and crying together…As we chattered away, suddenly mum smiled and raised her hand to show that she could still hear us – much to our amazement!
I’m not sure what the other patients or the nurses thought of the crowd gathered around mum’s bed laughing, but the nurses allowed us all to stay and somehow it just felt right to share that time in a very unconventional way..
The time came for the family to leave mum’s bedside and I was left alone once more to hold her hand, believing that she was slipping away and was unlikely to survive the night – she had slipped out of consciousness once more.
At about 2 a.m. as I rested next to her on that hospital ward with the curtains pulled around her bed, shedding a few quiet tears, her hand reached out and stroked my arm and once again she had awoken from her coma state, to comfort me… and in the following hours, I was amazed and so were the nurses and Doctors at how she battled back to life.
Incredibly, she improved so much that in the day, the Doctors agreed that she could be discharged. To be fair to the Doctors and Nurses, she wasn’t an easy patient and I was relieved that we could take her back to her home where she’d lived for over 50 years…
For the next few hours, I sat and chatted with her and couldn’t believe the transformation from the previous days and then out of the blue, she turned to me with a quizzical expression and asked “Why am I in this waiting room?” – I thought she was confused – “No mum, you’re in hospital” ………to which she replied:
“No Wendy – I’m in the waiting room and they’re all there waiting for me to come.. Dad, granddad, grandma… they want me to go soon as they’re waiting for me to join the party… Dad’s going to be annoyed if I don’t go soon…”.
I put this down to mum’s confusion and left her shortly afterwards to nip home to collect her clothes ready for her discharge. My sister arrived at the hospital to wait with mum and I’d barely left the hospital ward when mum looked at my sister and told her that she had to go… and in my sisters arms, she slipped away…
As I reflected on our conversation just an hour before her death, I knew with absolute certainty, that she had been telling me that she was leaving our physical world and going to join her spiritual family who had all been waiting for her… in the ‘waiting room’ …..
I know it may be difficult for some to believe in life beyond our physical environment, but for me there is no doubt that mum left me that day, to join her family for that party in heaven…
I hope you can believe it too and that this knowledge brings with it some comfort for those who have also lost their loved ones. Her spirit and theirs most definitely live on….
(Poet unknown) Artist – My sister Bev…