Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Time.

A strange concept, Time. We are governed by it throughout our lives. We race against it, try to make it up, we waste it, we value it when it comes to a break in our daily work routine, we complain about it, and even reminisce about it. It can feel as if it is flying by, or dragging slowly. Sometimes we measure it by success, or failure. We can invest it, or squander it. But when it comes down to the final moments when we are faced with the inevitable passing of a loved one, we always wish for more. 

More Time.

More Time to say the things you were scared or afraid to say, to express your feelings, say how much you love them, to say you are sorry for something maybe said or done, or not in some cases.

This was the case with my mother when she passed away on August 13th 2022. We had been present for most of that day, taking turns to be at her bedside, watching her slowly, but gradually slip deeper and deeper into a state where her body was preparing to shut down once and for all.


Around 1700hrs we had to leave in order to return home to walk and feed the dogs and eat for ourselves. It was just as we had finished eating that my sister phoned to say the end was coming fast, we should come as soon as possible.

I drove us back to my sister's home as fast as it was legally possible, given all road restrictions, cameras and speed zones. As I pulled up outside the bungalow I could see mum's window was open. My heart sank. This wasn't normal. My wife went ahead into the bedroom, as I called to the rest of the family to announce our arrival. When I saw my mother I initially thought she was still sleeping, but seeing my wife's tear-streaked face confirmed my fears. She had passed away and I had not been by her side.

My wife left the room to allow me time alone with my mother. I stroked the soft, silver-grey hair from her forehead and kissed it gently, and told her I loved her. I then hugged her, resting my head on her shoulder and spoke to her quietly, telling her how much I was going to miss her, but I expected her to come back and visit us sometime. I sobbed quietly so as not to draw attention and held onto my mother for the last time. It saddens me to say this, but that was the longest I have ever hugged my mother, though I am glad I did. More kisses and I finally let my mother go.

More Time.

And yes, I did wish for more time with my mother, but back in a time when she was healthier, able to walk and was independent, and minus the vascular dementia. 
Why is it we do this? We only savour those we love once they are no more and have passed over? Why do we not fully appreciate those we love when we are with them? Why?

Appreciate those whom you love, whom you can reach out and hug. Enjoy life with them, laugh with them, enjoy the beauty of the world with them, even cry with them - but BE WITH THEM.
Social media won't give a rat's fart if you live, die or disappear, those nearest and dearest to you will and do.

My mother is now at peace, free from her suffering, but hers would have been far worse had it not been for the excellent one-to-one care my sister gave our mother whilst mum lived with my sister. I've worked on many wards during my time with the NHS, and I know only too well how back-breaking and exhausting such care is for a group of nurses, let alone for an individual. There are no words for the gratitude and appreciation I have for my sister and the sacrifice she (and her partner) made for all the years mum lived with them.

As is my way, I will now add a song to this post. It's not necessarily linked with my mother or her passing, but it is hauntingly beautiful and almost meditative, and I find it very relaxing, especially at night when listening to it over my ear buds before sleep.
So, as a link with the topic of this post, you will need to invest a small amount of your time in listening to this song, as it runs for nearly ten minutes.

The song is entitled, 'I Hold You' from the album 'Seelie' by a band called CLANN. Enjoy.


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