My mother died on the 12th of December 2019. It was the last full moon of the year and decade.
She was sick, there’s no doubt about that but we thought we had more time. She had some heart and lung problems but they were all under control with the meds she was taking.
On Monday the 9th of December she went into hospital with a really bad stomach ache. They did scans and found a ‘mass’ on her pancreas. They did more scans and on the Tuesday they said it was pancreatic cancer that has spread to her liver.
I collapsed when my brother gave me the news. The doctor said she has 24 months left to live. I wept like I’ve never wept before. On the Wednesday her blood pressure dropped and my brother told me to get on a plane. I don’t remember how I even got to Heathrow. I was running on adrenaline, my heart was pounding a hundred miles an hour and I felt like I was going to throw up. The messages my brother was sending about her condition stopped. This frightened me but I remained hopeful. In the early hours somewhere above Africa I had a vision of my mother, I saw her face in my mind’s eye. She was around 40 years old and vibrant and smiling at me.
When I got to the Johannesburg I knew if I just saw one person there to greet me she was still alive so when I saw my dad I was relieved. That must mean that my siblings are with her I thought. My father couldn’t look me in the eye and hardly said hello, he took my bag and walked in front of me, I followed in silence. Around the corner I saw my brother and sister and I let out a visceral cry. ‘No!’ “No” was all I could say. My sister collapsed to the floor holding onto my leg and my brother held me as I shook.
One of my worst fears came true on the 12 of December 2019. I loved my mother more than words can say. She was the strongest person I’ve ever known. She was a mother, a mentor and guide and I am lost at sea without her.
I have been sober throughout 2019. So its been around 2 and a half years in total…it would be three and half if I didn’t have those two slips.
2019 was a difficult year for me. I dealt with lots of personal insecurity, anxiety, depression, money issues, eco anxiety and on and on but nothing compares to the grief I have after having lost her.
I know I haven’t been blogging. The reason is just that I felt inept to cope with life and didn’t think I had anything of value to say about anything really. Yes I’m sober but life is fucking hard. It’s ‘drag your ass out of bed on your hands and knees’ hard.
I flew back to London on my own and had a transit stop over in Amsterdam. I found a smoking section which was conveniently located inside a bar. I went in had my cigarette then walked ever so slowly past the bar and looked at the amber liquid in the whiskey bottles with such longing for oblivion I could hardly breathe. When I realised what was happening I rushed out of there like the devil was chasing me.
My mother would have said this is a right of passage and would have advised me to try to find meaning in the loss. She would say ”Transform the loss to gratitude and find that it can cause a shift in your consciousness where you appreciate each moment you are alive. “
I know this.
It’s too soon for me to ‘positive talk’ myself into gratitude. I feel like I have accepted her death I’m just so fucking sad she’s gone and I miss her. I just miss her.