When I started this blog some six years ago, I knew I’d have to write this post one day. This morning, shortly after midnight, Mum died. After sitting at her bedside for two days, neither my sister nor I were with her when it happened – but perhaps that’s how she wanted it to be. I’m so grateful that one person – a special person called Michelle – was at her side, holding her hand when the end came. From the day she moved in, Mum has had the very best care at The Firs but her care over the past few days, as her life ebbed away, topped everything.
Mum lived with a diagnosis of dementia for eight years but probably lived with that cruellest of diseases for several years more. For most of that time, she was cheerful, a smile never far from her lips, a laugh lurking nearby. In the end, Mum could smile and laugh no more. She was so tired and she needed to find peace.
I’ll miss her more than words in this blog or elsewhere can say. For years, I’ve been missing the Mum I grew up with, the Mum to whom I owe so much. Now I’ll also miss the Mum who coped so cheerfully with everything dementia could throw her, the Mum who might not have known my name any longer but whose smile told me she still knew me.
I’ll miss my regular visits to The Firs, to the amazing staff who made Mum’s final years so comfortable and so secure. To them, we owe so much. The fight to raise awareness about dementia will go on.
The last thing I said to Mum was how much I loved her and that she will always remain in my heart. She’s there now.