I looked at you, curled up in the passenger seat of my car, uncomfortable with pain, struggling with each breath. I knew this was the final time. You’d refused to let me call an ambulance.  I tried my best to keep calm but my insides were aching, screaming & crying out. The helplessness was overwhelming.

Part of me was prepared when Dad rang a few nights later, so say you might not make it. That you had developed something with a name I kept forgetting. Another journey in, this time more anxious. I hold your hand, tell you I love you, but it doesn’t seem enough.

I spent all the next day at your bedside, relishing your company, talking crap with the others, something we all do best. I feel a bit more at ease, but I know it’s false.

I’ve read the books, I’ve trawled the internet, I know what you’re up against. I feel such despair.

When I arrive next you are struggling, gasping, writhing in the bed. Surrounded by staff. I feel immediately sick. You reach towards the end of the bed, is it to me or to relieve your pain? I reach out and hold your hands. Do you even know I’m here? You’re slipping in and out of consciousness. Did you see me at the end of your bed, did you feel me holding your hands? I watch and I cry. Great silent sobs.

We all sit on the bed with you. Hugging, holding, stroking. Your breathing gets slower and slower. I can feel the life leaving you. I feel so much love and pain all at once. I want you to be free of this suffering, but I am so scared to lose you. Going against my heart, I tell you to go, I put a shawl around you, you seem to be cold. As you breathe your final breaths my life crumbles.

My friend, my mentor, the essence of me, my Mum, has gone. It’s 4.30pm, the sun outside shines in an eerie way.


Some days the pain bubbles to the surface, triggered by events, conversations, anything. Today is one of those days.  I don’t talk about it, I don’t burden people with the grief I’ve never really gotten over. I’ve learned to live with the hole.

“I’m holding my entire head together. The skin and the shell of me. I’m falling absolutely inside myself”




~ by Fen on July 21, 2012.

11 Responses to “Falling”

  1. Oh honey.

    Wish I could hug you in person.

    thinking of you. xox

  2. oh dear Fen a big virtual hug from me.
    Your mother was beautiful and you are lucky for the time you had with her.

    You must have read Bowlby on grief?
    My own has made me chronically ill.
    Here’s one I know to be true –


    I prescribe a big dose of kitty-stroking.
    Love X X

    • Yep I’ve read most of what is out there on grief, I studied it in depth. My kitties are very good at making me feel loved 🙂

  3. Not the time to attempt to be clever and I was at a loss to say something, even though I wanted to. Some many hours later, I can respond with the quote on the wall in this post from Fitzroyalty. It is rather nice and moving, I think. http://indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty/2012/07/22/swan/

  4. Hi. Without grief I’d have less to say, maybe nothing at all. No anger, bad dreams, laughter.

  5. I beg your pardon, I was trying to say that after years of feeling depressed over my father’s rotteness I eventually decided to laugh at it. It’s not a trick, his sort of human selfishness is laughable when you stand back from it. That’s no help to you. I know how much you loved your mother and what losing her has done to you.

    • Hi RH, I think I understand. It’s not just losing my Mother, it’s lots of things that I sometimes let get me down. I’ll get over it.

  6. Children who were badly treated need to realise it wasn’t a judgement made against them, it was stupidity from bonehead adults.

    Things get me down too, just one disappointment can wake up the rest, I’m cheered up by the odd bods in society, freaks of nature, standing it on its head.

  7. So, so sorry, Fen. Hugs from me and Milly the dog too. K xo

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