Taken to early.


I remember the 29th of July 2005 like it was yesterday. I normal day with a normal, well more like a routine at this stage trip to the hospice. All was well; my mam had been sedated as per usual. She didn’t know if we were there with her, but we were. We were there every day. We sat by her bedside for about an hour or so, as we usually did. Finally it was time for us to go, like every other night I leaned over my mam and kiss her goodbye on her forehead. I whispered “I love you” into her ear as I stood up straight.  Saying goodbye as I walked out of the room was the same as I did every other night, what I didn’t know was this was the last time I would ever tell my mam that I loved her or kissed her while she was alive.

Finally the day we had all been waiting for came, the day she passed away. It was the 30th of July 2005. It was the same as every other day; we all went into see my mam in the hospice that evening. My granddad came with us as well; he usually did come with us to see her. She was like the daughter he never had. He loved her and it was clear. He sat by her bedside endless amounts of time while she was sick and he always made sure he would be with her every step of the journey.

We parked the car; we had a blue seven sweater at the time just outside the door where we usually would park. On the way to the hospice my dad had received a phone call from the nurses to tell us she had taken a turn for the worst. To be honest after we were told she was dying there were many phone calls like this. They would often mean that my dad would end up telling us that they had to sedate her again, I always posed the question will she be awake when we go and see her? The same reply came time after time, I don't know Siobhan, she might wake up but she might never wake up again, but keeping her sedated means she is not in any pain. Even at ten years old it is possible to take comfort in knowing that someone is not in pain, I didn't see it that way at the time to be honest but I rather she be sedated than in pain.

In the door taking a right turn and then a left turn and we were at my mams room. We walked in one by one in order of my dad, Paul, me, my granddad and Shane. A nurse also came in as we stood against the wall, nobody said a word. My dad went over and held my mams left hand. We were silent; you could hear a pin drop. The nurse picked up my mams other hand, felt for a pulse, and placed her hand back 
down.  In a soft quiet voice she uttered the words she's gone; she turned off the oxygen and removed the oxygen tubes. She leaned over and shut her eyes and her mouth. Nobody moved, it was as if we were just a painting on the wall. A moment later my dad out down her hand and in a soft but loud voice said she's gone through his tears.  Shane burst out of the room and as my granddad went to go after him my dad said just to leave him, for the first time I seen tears stream down my granddads face.  My brother and me went over to my dad’s open arms and cried. The moment we had all been waiting for had just occurred. My mam had just died. I was now a ten year old child who didn't have a mother, I was lots and confused, I didn't know what to think, I didn't know what to do. The only thing I could do was cry.

The rest of that night was a blur to be honest. Family members came and left the hospice, people hugged me and nurses said how sorry they were. any time I had managed to control my tears more would come streaming down my face again. Just after she died we were all asked to leave the room while the nurses prepared my mams body.  We were a family that had just been turned upside down and we didn't know what to do. Phone calls were being made informing people of what had happened and funeral arrangements were beginning to get underway. A blue suit and a white blouse is what I told my auntie Betty she would like to wear in her coffin when I  was asked what do I think she should be buried in. I loved her blue suit and I can't remember a time my mam didn't look stunning in that suit.

As all of this was going on my head was racing, I didn't know what to do. I wanted to get away from everybody and be with my mam. I left the family area and made what was one of my last journeys back to my mams room. I slowed as I came to the door, contemplating if I wanted to go in or not. Did I really want to sit with my mother, a thin and fragile figure that was not the person I knew anymore? As I was about to go in a nurse came out. In her had she had a small brown envelope. I looked at her for a minute; it was the same nurse who told us she had died. I will never forget her face and  the look of her shining blond hair. She reached out her hand and gave me an envelope asking are you Siobhan? I nodded in agreement as any time I began to talk my voice was taken over by the floods of tears. I was told this was left in the locker by my mams bedside and it had my name on it.

Keeping with my decision to go in a sit with my mam I entered her room. It was quiet and peaceful. The look on my mother’s face was one of content. I knew she was out of pain and I knew she had gone to a better place. She didn't have to suffer anymore. I pulled up a chair beside her bed and sat down. I reached out and pinched her in hand in the hopes that she was only asleep and that if I pinched her hand she would wake up. It was no use, she was gone and she was never coming back. I stared blankly into space before remembering the envelope in my hand. I opened it and found two photographs. Two photographs that showed a young girl at a birthday party happy and smiling. She had the same smile and the same hair as my mam so I put 2 and 2 together and realised it was my mam at a birthday party. I don't know why they were left for me and to this day I still haven't figured it out. One conclusion I came up with was that she wanted me to see her as a child but most of all she wanted me to see her as happy. Happy, that's just want she is in those picture, those pictures mean more to me than people could imagine. Every now and again I take them out of my keepsake box when I'm feeling low. Just one glance at her smiling face has the power to lift me up, to make me realise that things aren't always as bad as they seem. Her smile had the power to work wonders on anybody who saw it.


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Danielle said...

What a beautiful and touching entry! Bless her soul.

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