Thursday, 27 January 2011

A time to mourn.

I have been away a long time, because after many weeks of illness, my mum declined very rapidly over Christmas, and then passed away at the beginning of January. Although we knew she was ill doctors had given no indication that her condition could be fatal until just a few days before we lost her, and was a shock in the end to see such a rapid deterioration. She had not been in her right mind since the illness began and wasn't herself at all, but in the last days she slipped into unconsciousness and they just couldn't do anything for her as the infection had taken hold and she wasn't able to fight it. I am finding it unbearably sad to lose her, except of course that we do have to bear it and carry on as best we can, a day at a time.

The reason I have a photo of daffodils is that she loved them, I always bought them for her birthday on January 22nd, and so chose them for her funeral flowers - a lovely cheerful yellow on an otherwise quite wintery day. Such a shame she couldn't be at her own funeral - she'd have loved chatting to friends and family afterwards.

She had a really fascinating life, very far from ordinary, daughter of a very well respected GP who had the title of Honorary Surgeon to the King (and Queen - we have a coronation stool somewhere!), she became an actress, spent some years with travelling theatre companies in the 1950s and then became the first woman to read the news (she's not famous because it was only for the West Country region rather than the whole country). More minor acting roles followed and one film until she married in 1962 and had me, then she cared for me, later her mum and sadly later still my dad as they both developed Alzheimers.

She had an immense zeal for life and all the beauty around us. She sometimes drove us to distraction with endless conversations - about theatre, about history, about long-lost distant relatives, about people she'd just met who she'd found out all about, just because they were people and she was interested in everything about everybody, really genuinely interested.

She used to go for walks in the local woods and then draw us maps of where the very best bluebells were, just so she could share her enjoyment of them, and has left money in her Will specifically for snowdrops to be planted in public places so that others can enjoy them year after year, that just about sums her up perfectly I think.

We lost my dad a long time ago but she kept his ashes till she could join him - so earlier this week we buried them both together, just as they would have wished. Very hard, and so final somehow to see the casket in the ground with both their names on, but they are just where she wanted to be in the churchyard right next to the house they loved and lived in for many years.

It's not a great time of year is it for anyone, still cold and grey, and I'm looking forward to spring coming as I'm sure we all are. In the meantime I seem to have masses to do, and am unfortunately the reluctant nearly-owner of a Grade II listed 16th Century cottage in need of very extensive clearing out and rather extensive renovation too - perhaps more of that in another post! So felting and blogging sadly will largely have to stop or be very infrequent for the time being, hopefully when things settle a bit I'll be able to carry on, and the house is certainly fascinating even if terrifyingly full of stuff. In the meantime here is another photo of the flowers, last week we found in the house this silver rose bowl which I never knew existed - a present from my mum's father to her mother on their wedding day in the 1920s, and a lovely discovery which I'll polish and use as much as I can, how nice to have such a connection to the past.


  1. That was a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. (((Hugs)))

    And that silver rose bowl is lovely--you're right, it's a wonderful connection to the past.

    Please know I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts, sending universal Light and wishing you Blessings and Peace.

  2. You have my deepest sympathies on the loss of your Mum. I loved reading about her, she was truly a unique woman, and she sounds like she was well before her time in many ways. I know you will miss her terribly.
    As I'll miss you...please drop a post once in a while! The house sounds fascinating; and I'm sure you'll find more memories we'd enjoy hearing about.
    Take care of yourself. Do things you enjoy.
    And remember all the wonderful times with your mum and dad.
    Love, Trish

  3. Sending you love and strength at this difficult and sad time! I love daffodils and yours are a beautiful reminder of a precious mum, lost to you for a short time now but certainly not forever, your memories will keep her near. love annie xx

  4. So sorry to read your sad news.
    Your Mother sounded like a wonderful lady.
    Warm Wishes Em xxx

  5. What a beautiful post about an obviously much loved Mum. Thanks for sharing it.
    A x

  6. The daffodils are truly beautiful - as was your mum, judging from the lovely photo and the wonderful picture you created of her personality in your sad post. Long may those treasured memories last. Thinking of you and sending our love.x Jo

  7. What a very moving post ... I'm so sorry to hear about your sad news. You are very much in my thoughts at this difficult time!

  8. I am so so so so so sorry to hear of your mum's passing. Oh my goodness. What an amazing, beautiful and absolutely wonderful woman!! What a shining star!! I'm truly sorry.

    I think you've done this silver vase proud. I think you do well to just take one day at a time. It's been such a traumatic few months for you and your family. Now there is peace and reflection and grief. I'm lighting a candle for you all in my heart.

    Take care

  9. I am so sorry to hear your sad news. you have bravely written a wonderful tribute to your mum and told us some lovely things about her interesting life. keeping you in my thoughts and we will be here waiting for your return to blogland.
    love and hugs

  10. So very sorry to hear your sad news, my thoughts are with you and your family.

    What a lovely insight into your mums fascinating life, it sounds like she was an amazing women.

    Try and take each day as it comes and try not to get overwhelmed my all that needs doing and sorting.

    Sending you big hugs at this difficult time. I know exactly how you are feeling.


  11. What wonderful things and memories you have of your Mum. I am so sorry for you that you have lost your Mum so suddenly. I am thinking of you at this very sad time.

    Colette xx

  12. Sorry for your loss.
    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman and mother!
    Don't forget to look after yourself at this time and keep close all that was loving and meaningful about your relationship.

    Take care,

    Sandie xx

  13. I'm so very sorry to hear of your sad loss.
    Your tribute to her is wonderful, spoken (or written) with such love and admiration, she sounds like a remarkable lady and one this world was lucky to have. May the happy memories help you through the dark days.
    Thinking of you and looking forward to reading your blog posts, in the meantime take time to heal.

  14. Thank you for your kind words on my last post.

    Your Mum sounds like an amazing and very interesting lady.

    So sorry she is gone.

    Vicki xxx

  15. Sorry to hear about your mum - I love the idea of the snowdrops. A lovely legacy!.

  16. Hi, I've just found your blog. What a wonderful woman your mum was, such a lovely tribute.

  17. Im so sorry to hear of your loss... Your mom sounds like a lovely and fascinating lady..

  18. That is so sad, I can't even comprehend how you must feel :-( Your mother sounded really fascinating and I bet you will miss her dearly. Like you say take each day or even each minute at a time. xxx

  19. I am sorry to hear of your loss...but, really loved reading of your Mum's life..... sounds like she had a very interesting one and lived it pretty fully. You will have so many good memories to treasure....

    Sending you some hugs...I know what it is to lose your Mum... mine will have been gone 13 years in February.... it's always a sad few weeks around that time.... after all she was my Mum... I miss her all the time..but, as you must go on. does... albeit a bit differently somehow...

    see you when you feel like getting back to an occasional post...

    the new acquisition of the house will keep you very busy to say the least...

  20. oh honey i am so sorry to hear your sad news.

    your mum sounds like a wonderful character who had a fantastic life, i hope your memories of happy times will bring you some comfort.

    what a lovely legacy to plant snowdrops for folk to enjoy :)

    take care of you honey, whatever it takes - just nurture yourself and find comfort that your mum and dad are together, and never far away from you.

    wishing you lots of strength, love and hugs :)x

  21. Such sad news, my heart goes out to you. Hold the memories close.

  22. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum, I wish you lots of strength to deal with everything. The wedding photo of your parents is lovely, by the way, they look so happy. xxx

  23. My thoughts are with you at this sad time in your life. Hold on to the happy memories.
    With Love,
    Maggie x

  24. I just read the blog and so sorry to learn the lost. Your mum was a great lady and respected. I can see how you go through this difficult time. I hope you'll soon be settled down. All is good and sweet memories and will ever be remembered. Hope to see you again the the blogland. Take care and God bless you.


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