As if it were this week

There is no point denying it. This week feels very raw … still … It is the week during which my Mother had her final stroke eleven years ago, just  45 minutes or so after being told that Father was dying downstairs in the Emergency Department of the same hospital she was in.

It was the stuff of absolute nightmares to witness. I don’t think of the final week of Mother’s life all that often but come May 24th, it hits me every time from the depths of memory. Dad wasn’t dying, as it turned out, and it still plays on my mind how she felt she could die, given that she wouldn’t be leaving him alone.

They were extremely close and it would have been fitting for the two of them to have gone together but, for me, it was a blessing to have Dad around for another 16 months. He was sad, he certainly was, but being him, I think he knew he was doing his fatherly thing by being there to share the sadness with me and to bring me right into his life and share memories which are now a great source of solace and joy.

The sun is beating down, just as it did that last week of Mother’s life. I am drawn to the garden where I want to tend my precious plants and introduce new growth. I am also drawn to the sea, the sea that Mother and I soaked in, in every sense, all our lives.

I know that this sense of ‘that week’ will subside again when we get to June. In the meantime, I think of people who have been unfortunate enough to have to go through both parents dying within days of each other from Covid. Their hearts must be shattered. I just hope they have the possibility of being able to come to a time when memories will not be about the dying week but of shared times of joy.

Now, to the garden to inspect the progress of the new seedlings and the blooming of ‘Happy Dream’ rose as well as the blue geraniums …..

Tramore Beach, Co.Waterford

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

18 thoughts on “As if it were this week”

  1. How lovely–the sentiment and the sea. Yesterday was my mother’s birthday and it reminded me of our time together. It has been almost 16 months since she died at the age of 91, just about 15 months after Dad. When I first started reading your blog, Dad had just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As that was sinking in and I was watching the very vibrant and alive man of 87 who had been riding his horse and toting hay bales only a few months before change before my eyes, I could not read the things you wrote about the loss of your parents. As I began to chronicle my own experience in the uncharted territory that we cannot prepare for until we walk it, I understood much more and could connect with both the loss and the hope as you expressed it. It is almost like we have to reinvent life daily; perhaps that is why we have a new day every day.

    1. Yes, Suz, I guess that the reinventing of each day is essential to having hope.
      I remember how you expressed your difficulty with my blog posts about Mother and Dad. We were both very fortunate to have them for so long in our lives. I feel extremely grateful for that.

  2. This is so sad and yet beautiful Jean . We are struggling to cope at the moment, hubby’s Mum has been in hospital since 13th April she went in to hospital after having seizures, she was found Covid positive, moved to a Covid ward. She had her 100th birthday in hospital and my hubby was invited in and given PPE. She actually came out of the hospital after a month but unfortunately after three days she started having seizures again, she is now in hospital again but not doing at all well …’s been such a difficult time. 💜 I do hope all three of you and Stan are okay ❤️♥️🙏🙏

  3. My father passed away on May 23rd, seven years ago. I always thanked him (silently, of course) for not dying on my late son’s birthday, two days later. And here, your mother between two of my own fateful dates.
    I cannot imagine that time for you. It must have felt surreal. I am glad your father hung on for those extra months for you both.
    Sending you hugs, my friend.

    1. Strange isn’t it how dates DO matter. Son, H’s, birthday is May 24. It is a highlight in the midst of all this. To lose a child is beyond contemplation. You are one of those people I admire most in terms of coping and smiling in the face of adversity.

      1. It is. I never thought I’d learn to focus on some of them. I guess it is part of our journey. And thank goodness there are highlights mixed in.
        Thank you, Jean.

    1. Hi George, thanks for your kind words. It certainly was an awful period and it seemed so surreal to have both of them at death’s door at the very same time. It certainly wasn’t expected. The fact that Dad came through was a huge bonus. Mother would have been astonished at how well he coped without her. I certainly was but I think his sense of humour was huge in all that and I can’t but smile as I write this, just thinking of the pair of them. We certainly never forget those we love.

  4. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at
    Thank you, Chris
    My Dad also died with Alzheimer’s, as did one of his brothers, a niece and now that niece’s sister is starting that journey, as her husband did… a very sad time for all the loved ones around them.
    Mum had passed many years before Dad… far too young at 51. The love of family kept him going, though even though he was 91, we still weren’t ready to say goodbye to a beautiful loving man.

    1. Thanks Cris, I totally agree that advanced age doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier to someone we love and who has loved us all our lives.
      I hope your nieces get to make lots of happy memories in the precious time they have left with their father. x

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