Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mum latest

Thanks everyone for your kind wishes and support. I know a lot of my family and friends, and my family's friends read this so I am sorry to have to pass on this news:

Mum is dying. My family were all called to the hospital yesterday and told she was likely to go 'within 24 hours'.Total kidney failure, massive heart failure, blood pressure crashing - but Mum is still there, still lucid. She is still hanging on: she wants to get her house in order before she leaves us.

Being told that she was dying yesterday was a shock to her, and she wants to think about it, process it, and make sure we are all ok before she lets go. The consultant has changed the prognosis to 'within 2-3 days'; like all of us he is amazed at Mum's strength of will. But there is nothing at all they can do for her at all save make her comfortable. She has had an incurable disease for over a year, and we didn't know, nobody knew. This last year has been a bonus, borrowed time, we have found.

I have stayed up all night bar 30 minutes, came home to sleep for 2.5 hours, woke up, checked in here, and am just about to go back to the hospital.

Your thoughts and kind wishes mean a lot: if you are religious and want to pray, please pray for a gentle death for Brenda, and that she finds what she has always hoped for and believed in after she leaves us.

Oh God. This is such hard work; heartbreaking beautiful shattering agonising work; watching the death of someone you love, surrounded by love.

Mum is dying with regrets that she has to go so soon, but without fear and with such graceful dignity - that is her last gift to us, beautiful dancer that she is.

I have to go back to her now. I don't think there is much more of this dance left before the music stops. I will be out of action for a while as of today.


Anonymous A said...

Not much you can say in times like this but you are in my thoughts. Much strength and peace. ps..the 'music' never stops.

August 21, 2007 11:02 am  
Blogger Becca said...

I am so sorry, Rachel. I wish your mum a peaceful and graceful end, and I send all my thoughts and strength to you and your family.


August 21, 2007 11:16 am  
Blogger thegirl said...

Rachel, you and your family are in my thoughts.


August 21, 2007 11:33 am  
Anonymous Joanna Young said...

Rachel, I'm so sorry. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

I'm sure your mum is immensely proud of you.


August 21, 2007 11:36 am  
Blogger Shauna said...

I'm so sorry Rachel... I'll be thinking of you and your mum and your family xxxxxxoxoxoox

August 21, 2007 11:53 am  
Blogger Peach said...

Rachel, so sorry to hear this, love to you all....

August 21, 2007 12:11 pm  
Anonymous schauspiele said...

I am so sorry. My thoughts are and will be with you and your family.


August 21, 2007 12:14 pm  
Blogger Payasoru said...

"The souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise they appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like an annihilation: but they are in peace." Book of Wisdom 3: 1-3

You and your family are in my prayers, and for Brenda, a Hail Mary.

August 21, 2007 12:41 pm  
Blogger Random Reflections said...

So sorry to hear this. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

August 21, 2007 12:52 pm  
Anonymous HughOfBardfield said...

I am so sorry. Words are so inadequate at a time like this, and so meaningless from a stranger, but I wanted you to know I am thinking of you (one of very, very many).

God go with you all

Hugh, Essex

August 21, 2007 1:21 pm  
Blogger Liz said...

You don't know me, but I have commented on this blog before and you have brought great solace to me through your words and actions after July 7.

So I just wanted to say that you're in my thoughts, and I wish your Mum a graceful and quiet passing. A good friend of mine lost her Dad two weeks ago, and the family drew great comfort from the fact that they had some warning and were able to be there, together, during the last stages.

Wishing you strength at this terrible time.

August 21, 2007 1:29 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

August 21, 2007 1:45 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Your mother's courage is extraordinary - now we know where you got it from.

Sending prayers and healing for all.


August 21, 2007 1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry; you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

August 21, 2007 1:47 pm  
Blogger Brett said...

I'm sure there are many like me out here that have followed your courage and resilience for a long time through this blog and who are devastated by this news. Your mother must be so proud of you and deserves our heartfelt thanks for bringing you into all our lives. I do hope a 'hug' reaches you through this medium..

August 21, 2007 1:52 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thinking of you and your family Rachel x

August 21, 2007 2:02 pm  
Blogger Catlover said...

I am so so sorry to read of such devasting news Rachel. As others have already said, your Mother must be very proud of you - now we know where you get your courage from. Heartfelt thoughts are with you. x

August 21, 2007 2:35 pm  
Blogger Jim who is slightly balding said...

For better or for worse, we all affect each other, change each other, and death does not cease that process.

We are much more than just single entities, here and then gone; we are what we have done, and what those we have affected with our own lives have done and will do.
Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.
William Butler Yeats, The Coming of Wisdom with Time (1910)

August 21, 2007 2:54 pm  
Blogger Kris said...

Dear Rachel

I am so sorry to hear your sad news. My father died in similar circumstances last year and I know how terrible it is for the entire family.

I was just thinking of you and of you and your dad on Richard & Judy's sofa. She's seen that too.

When you are ready to face the world, there is a cup of coffee and a cake in Stoke Newington with your name on it.

August 21, 2007 2:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I will be praying for you and your family

August 21, 2007 4:12 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

Dear Rachel,

I very much hope that your mum doesn't suffer and you are all in my thoughts. Be strong for your mum at this time.


August 21, 2007 4:45 pm  
Anonymous Geoff Coupe said...

Damn, the universe is pitiless, but you and your family will find the strength. I've not met you or your mum personally, but you are both credit to our kind. As the Dutch say: "Sterkte" (which roughly speaking translates as "courage, mon brave")

August 21, 2007 5:56 pm  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

That is such bad news Rachel - my thoughts are with you and your family. Like everyone else, I hope she has a peaceful and dignified passing with no pain attached and I wish an angel or two for her bedside (aside from yourself that is).

August 21, 2007 6:12 pm  
Anonymous IainC said...

Thanks, Rachel, for sharing such a personal and intimate family event with us. I don't believe we can predict for ourselves, let alone others, how we will cope, but I'm sure you'll find the same inner strength and positivity that you've shown before.


August 21, 2007 6:17 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with your mum, you, and the rest of your family.

August 21, 2007 6:29 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

I'm sorry to hear that Rachel.

I went through all this with my Dad just two weeks ago. Reading this brought it all back.

You are in my thoughts.

August 21, 2007 6:30 pm  
Blogger Don't Call Me Ishmael said...

Not much I can say that hasn't already been said by your lovely blog readers, but I hope you and your family will find some comfort together. You are in my thoughts.

August 21, 2007 7:18 pm  
Anonymous yardbird said...

My Thoughts.

August 21, 2007 8:19 pm  
Anonymous Mark said...

Rachel, you and your family are in my thoughts.

August 21, 2007 8:32 pm  
Blogger AmyTree said...

Oh, Rachel. Peace to you all. xxx

August 21, 2007 9:12 pm  
Anonymous Dan Hart said...

Best wishes for her peaceful departure and my sympathies to you and your family.

August 21, 2007 9:26 pm  
Anonymous Rachael said...

So sorry to hear your news Thinking of you and your family.

August 21, 2007 9:53 pm  
Anonymous Clive B said...

Rachel, thank you for your bravery and dignity in sharing this, even though you don't know me. My thoughts are with you and your family. I lost my father 6 weeks ago and I know how awful it is to see a wonderful intelligent person who you've known all your life slip away from you. You're never ready for it, but I can tell from all your writings that you will have the strength to come through it, even if you don't feel it right now.

August 21, 2007 10:10 pm  
Anonymous maya said...

I am so sorry to hear about this, and I pray that your mum will have a peaceful, loving sendoff as she passes on. I cannot imagine what you're going through, but you have an incredible amount of strength (as does your mum, it seems), and you will come through this. Even when she is no longer physically here, she will always be with you, watching over you.

August 21, 2007 10:42 pm  
Anonymous Alan said...

Sorry to hear this dreadful news, for you and for all your family. I'm not a praying man, but I'll keep you in my thoughts nonetheless.

August 22, 2007 12:29 am  
Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

With tears in my eyes, I write this

To you all

Be strong, good wishes and God Bless

August 22, 2007 1:13 am  
Blogger Jim said...


Even at times such as these, you write with beauty and your soul shines through. You and your family are in my thoughts.


August 22, 2007 2:09 am  
Blogger Mary said...

I've been lurking on your blog for quite awhile now, but this post moved me into commenting.
Yes, I'm praying for Brenda but also for you and all the people who love her.
Double damn. I'm trying not to cry. You've brought back memories of my father's death back when I was barely out of my teens. Please, please be glad of all the years you've had with your mother. I know that's not a comfort now, but looking back... oh hell. I'll stop babbling now. Please accept a virtual hug from a lurking stranger.

August 22, 2007 5:11 am  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...

Rachel, you and your family are in my thoughts.

August 22, 2007 8:25 am  
Blogger Kate said...

Another lurker here - thinking of you and your family, Rachel.

August 22, 2007 9:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel. I am deeply sorry that that this time has come.

It's strange that in moments like this nothing else matters.

Make your mum proud.

In solidarity...

Tonys Akiller.

August 22, 2007 10:00 am  

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