We saw Mum twice this week.
Once for our weekly lunch, when I take her out for a good meal, then we go and do errands. She stays in the car now while I do the errands. This week she was distracted more than usual by the goings on in the world – murders, financial mayhem, etc, etc. Unusually this time I couldn’t get her past that to talk about her favourite show the Antique Roadshow or her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Then she said that it was time for her to go and be with Dad (who’d died in 1981). She was quite calm and matter-of-fact. That fear of dying, of not being in control, that she’d clung on to for so long, had gone…
I looked at her, that tired, lined face and that awful wig which had hidden her lovely hair for many years. Yet there was a wisdom there, a way of being with the earth when she let herself. Sadness gripped my belly as I realised how much I would miss that.
I was happy that she’d got to a peaceful place about dying, but now I needed to let her go, so she could go in peace.
The next day, obeying an instinct that had come to me the previous week that this would be Mum’s last week here, I asked Jeanette and Christopher, Blaine, Tom and Thea, to have afternoon tea with Mum. So the day after our lunch I picked her up from her place again and took her to one of her favourite coffee shops. She got herself together and acted brightly, although I sensed the effort this took as I sat by her. Our family, this precious group of people that Rob and I began and that now has its own very special way of being, gave Mum what she sought. Respect, love and a sense of place and purpose. She could see herself in Thea, that brightness. And she could see Dad in Tom, that caring and solidness. She was happy that she would be leaving that legacy. Thanks heavens she’s got past thinking that all she’ll leave behind is the money!
When I hugged Mum after I’d taken her back home…yes, it’s time to let her go, so that she can go in peace.