Annette 2013

On 05 September 2018 my mother died. She was 92 years old and she would have preferred to die about 5 years earlier, around the time this picture was taken. She hated being dependent on others but a combination of physical disability and dementia meant that the last years of her life were spent in a miserable existence confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home.

Her last years of living at home and her one year of living in a retirement village before she had to go to a nursing home were really good times in many ways. I had some great conversations with her in which nothing was off the table.

What I will always remember and appreciate about my mother is her complete acceptance of others – and this was a common theme of those who spoke at the funeral. We always felt her unconditional love. That experience of being loved will live on in us, even though her physical presence in our lives has gone.



About oldblack

ageing and decaying, misanthropic, cynical...black
This entry was posted in death, emotions, family, observations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Gone

  1. Julee McClelland says:

    Wow. I am sorry. I think you were lucky to have such an accepting person as a parent. While she felt she lived too long (for her taste) still, to live to age 92 is quite remarkable. I have always thought of you as a really caring son, who did everything he could for his mother in the years of her decline. Am so glad you had great conversations with her towards the end of her life.

    • oldblack says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Julee. I will indeed treasure the relationship we had as two older people, both looking back on lives that weren’t perfect but had some pretty satisfying and meaningful moments.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh Michael, I’m so sorry for your loss, but know it must also be a relief that she is no longer unhappy and suffering. Be sure to take care of yourself.

    • oldblack says:

      You’re exactly right about the mixed emotions, Simone. As dementia changed her I said goodbye to the person I had known all my life, so by the time she died there was little left to feel except relief. But since the day of her death, with my brother coming from Scotland and family & friends gathering for the funeral, the whole spectrum of experiences of her were recounted and re-lived. No doubt I will continue to feel ups & downs for a while yet.

  3. Julee McClelland says:

    I’d like to add another thought. If you haven’t already done this or are not yet ready, perhaps at some point you put out and could celebrate her with pictures, mementos, etc., that remind you of the way she was when she was NOT unhappy to be alive and living with dementia. Put them in a place you can regularly see them so your thoughts of her turn to the best times you had together. I know this might sound silly, but I did that for a cat that died (who was 17-1/2 – quite old). It helped me remember everything good about him; I left out a favorite toy and pics that reminded me of how sweet he was. It helped stimulate good memories, and also helped me to not be as overwhelmed by his death, since I had things out to look at that brightened my thoughts.

    • oldblack says:

      Yes, that’s a good point, Julee. I’m sorting out some of her stuff now so I can put aside some items that give positive thoughts and memories.

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