From March 2016
My mother is nearing the end of her life. It’s been emotionally draining but also rewarding to spend these last days with her. I sit by her bed and talk to her. Sometimes she summons up the strength to whisper a few words. I grasp them like diamonds, clutching them as if they were the most precious things on the earth.
Death is such a strange thing. In the midst of all the emotions there’s the pure science of it all. How our bodies fade and fight. The ebbs and flows of the last epic battle. The human body is truly a remarkable machine, and the brain is the most remarkable component. Even when the rest of your body is ravaged and weakened with disease, even when the brain is operating under the influence of morphine, there are these incredible moments of clarity, love and even humor.
Yesterday, my son Alex shared these words with me from the poet Philip Larkin. They contain a profound truth.
“The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.”
Peace and love, mumsy.