So much has happened since my last blog. Looking at it now it seems as if all that happened months ago but it is only a week ago.
My Mum died on Tuesday morning 5.20 am. She is finally at peace. I am glad and sad at the same time. I was with her all last Sunday afternoon and most of Monday. At 6pm on Monday one of the nurses told me to go home and get some rest. You can imagine how that didn't happen! As if I could sleep with her so close to death. At 5.30am Tuesday morning the phone rang and I was told she had passed away. After such a long time as her caregiver as well as Ray's and pre-2000 Dad's I am now free to move on after whatever grieving period I find necessary. I think I will be okay but who knows how I will react in the future?
The funeral arranger said: "It seems such a short time since I saw you last" and it was just two months and a day.I was so grateful to the nursing home staff for all they did to keep Mum going. My older friends are rallying around again, some knew Mum from when she lived with Ray and I for two years and some have seen her since she has been in care as one of the church ladies was in her room and they visited her too. A death notice came out in today's paper so although a lot of her old friends have passed away I am sure there will be people in the community who still remember her fondly.
I had Mum dressed in her Norman Hartnell dress, it was a family joke really as she always said: "The Queen has Norman Hartnell dresses too." I have held onto it since I cleaned her house out in 2001. A while ago when she asked me if she had nice clothes still at home I told her I had it and it was still her best dress . My sister and I did meet to discuss the funeral arrangements and we agreed on most things so I am hoping it all comes together as Ray's did two months ago. As before Craig will do the eulogy on our behalf because I am sure I would breakdown if I had to do it. I did Dad's myself and that was really hard.
I am finding making the arrangements for this funeral more difficult as I feel as if this one is more on show. Because of the rift with my sister she is very critical of me and what I do so I know there will be a lot of criticism about minor points. My son-in-law advised me to just do it my way and stand by what I have done. I was her main caregiver for so long and knew exactly what to do but now I have reverted to being her daughter, one of two, I seem to have lost confidence in myself and my decision making. With Ray's funeral I just did it my way and that was good enough for most people. This time I wonder if every item, every song, every prayer is what Mum would have wanted and if my sister and her family will approve. I know this is silly of me but it is how I feel.
Mum's funeral will be on Tuesday 27th November at the same church as Ray's was. The internment and graveside service will be at Wamberal Cemetery.She will be in the same grave as Dad - united at last. It certainly seems a long time since she died to me today but it is less than 4 days. Such a busy time when there is so many people to notify and so much to do and it is a big emotional strain too.
Shirley, Craig and family arrived here late Tuesday so I have had the blessing of their company. They have been a help with what I needed to do immediately.The boys I know are only a phone call away. I am hoping that I will cope okay with this second funeral but it is one thing to think you are strong and quite another to get through an ordeal without breaking down. Last night we joined Trev, Edie and family for a meal together. Naomi finds her cousin Alice fascinating and loves to play "peek-a-boo" and other games with her. And I know Steve keeps in touch by phone and will come over if I need him. Shirley and family have gone back to Shelll Harbour for three days to do the servics needed over the weekend but will be coming back here on Monday.
I helped our soon-to-be Deacon Kathy with the communion service at Berkeley Vale Nursing Home today. Our minister is having a week's vacation while his family from interstate are visiting so Kathy and I are the relief team. lt was strange in one way to be back there but good in another as assisting in the service and writing and giving the little talk we use in place of a sermon was healing for me too. To have yet more of the staff come up and chat and express their condolences on Ray's death was good too. Yesterday I was at Nareen Gardens for Freda's service and once again staff members came up to me to express their condolences for Mum's death. It is hard to take but good to have behind me. What does not kill you DOES make you stronger.
I'd like all my friends to keep praying as the sleepless nights are with me once more. It is a terrible feeling knowing that not everyone is supporting me as you all do. But all I can do is strive to honour my Mum in what I do and keep walking forward day by day.