Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mum has died

Mum died in the early hours of this morning. Dad was with her. The family had been at the hospital since Monday morning, sleeping there, being there, keeping faith. Dad never left her side. Day and night, her husband, and children and brother were always with her, praying and talking, keeping silence, thanking her, holding her hand, telling her again and again how much she is loved. She knew. She was not afraid. It was terrible but it was also beautiful.

I know a lot of my friends and my family's friends read this website, so I am using this blog as a bush telegraph system to try to get the message out, because it is very hard for us to cope with lots of phone calls and emails at the moment; we are all in shock, and exhausted, and there is a very great deal of very hard things for us to do.

There have been many calls and emails already, even though we have only just woken up, but I am trying to deal with it on Dad's behalf, and so is my Uncle Ron, and this is what we are saying: thank you so much for your care and concern and prayers and love and best wishes. Thank you. We need private family time for the next 48 hours.

Please can you let us have this quiet time on our own as a family today and tomorrow and we will be ready to talk to people on Friday. On Friday morning the Bishop will be round, and we need to start communicating the family's wishes about the funeral, so if everybody else want to be in touch, please think about from Friday afternoon/the weekend as being the time when we will be starting to be able to respond and answer all your calls and emails. We really appreciate your support.

I will be doing one thing today: my book reading in Borders, Norwich, at 6.00pm because Mum asked me to. Told me to, in fact. I think it will be the hardest thing I have to do today, but I will do it because she wanted it, and I promised.

UPDATE: Someone else will be doing the Sunday service at St George's, not Dad.
The funeral will be a week on Friday at St. Georges at 2pm. We will get in touch with people about it soon but it is still being organised.
Apologies: I am likely to be slow in replying to messages right now, and sorry for that, I will get back when I can. Thank you to everyone who has sent such lovely support. It means a lot.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From God we come and to him we return. May God rest her soul. Amen

August 22, 2007 10:25 am  
Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

Rest in peace

August 22, 2007 11:07 am  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

Please accept my deepest condolences Rachel.

So sorry you didn't have your mum for longer. All strength to you in the coming days and for your reading tonight.

If it's any help, I had to read the eulogy at a relative's funeral last year as her daughters were too worried they might break down in the middle. Little did they know I worried about the same thing! Luckily once I actually started reading, it's as if Margaret was standing over me making *sure* I got it right and did her service justice! I'm sure you will find similar with any difficult reading you have to do. You don't let someone down when you know it's the last thing you can do for them, to do them proud.

August 22, 2007 11:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, Rachel. You are in my thoughts. With love, Barbara.

August 22, 2007 12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and your family.

August 22, 2007 12:54 pm  
Blogger kiwi in london said...

Hon, sorry to hear about your mum. May she rest in Peace. Much love to you and your family

August 22, 2007 12:54 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Sincere and deepest condolences, Rachel.


August 22, 2007 1:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A poem/prayer for you and yours. So sorry for your loss.

August 22, 2007 2:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry to hear this. Wishing you strength.

August 22, 2007 2:14 pm  
Blogger zoe said...

My sincere condolences to you and your family. May your mum rest in peace.


August 22, 2007 2:22 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

So sorry to hear this Rachel. My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope that the reading this afternoon goes well. x

August 22, 2007 4:02 pm  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Condolences. The angels are dancing...

August 22, 2007 5:31 pm  
Blogger Catlover said...

My sincere condolences to you and your family Rachel. x

August 22, 2007 5:51 pm  
Blogger mike said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Rachel. My sympathies to you and yours.

August 22, 2007 5:58 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mum and my thoughts are with you and your family.


August 22, 2007 6:24 pm  
Blogger RachelC said...

My condolences to you and your family.

August 22, 2007 6:32 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

*hugs* and love to you and your family xxx

August 22, 2007 7:26 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

My thoughts are with you and your father, Rachel. I wish you strength and comfort and hope that your mother finds peace.

August 22, 2007 7:27 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

August 22, 2007 7:28 pm  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Just a brief and inadequate note to sympathise with you Rachel. How very sad after the momentous events of recent years. I wish you well and some peace.

August 22, 2007 7:42 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Just to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

August 22, 2007 9:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a big hug to the whole family


August 22, 2007 9:30 pm  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Take all the time you need.
I hope the reading wasn't too hard this evening.


August 22, 2007 9:33 pm  
Blogger Anglonoel said...

Sorry to hear about your mum. My thoughts are with you and the rest of your family.

August 22, 2007 9:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel I'm sure that your Mum would be proud of you today. My deepest sympathies - you and your family are in my thoughts.

August 22, 2007 10:19 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Rachel...I am quite new to this blog but your words and your story have touched me. I am so sorry to hear this news. So sorry. She had - she has still, where she is now - a daughter of whom I'm sure she was very very proud. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers - may God hold you all in the palm of his hand in this painful time.

August 22, 2007 10:21 pm  
Blogger Damon Lord said...

My condolences. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family in this difficult time.

August 23, 2007 1:43 am  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

I am so moved by your sharing of what must be a terrible time for you. I also lost my mother far too early. Here is an Irish poem which I found so comforting:
An Irish Funeral Prayer
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

Blessings to you and yours.

August 23, 2007 2:44 am  
Blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rachel, I deeply sympathise and send you my thoughts and prayers. There is nothing sadder than losing a beloved parent and I still miss mine. May you draw peace and strength from all the care that she left you and that you gave to her.

August 23, 2007 2:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel,

I am so sorry that the inevitable arrived, but am heartened to know that her passing was one of peace and love. What a wonderful way to leave this world, surrounded by those who love you most, secure in the knowledge that they love you.

Nothing will ever replace your mum but now you know you have a guardian angel looking out for you, hopefully things will look up soon. You've been through so much and yet you are still standing, and you will continue to do so, I'm sure.

Please accept my deepest condolences, and sympathies, to you and to your family.

August 23, 2007 4:02 am  
Blogger Tigerpants said...

Rachel, I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my father just last year, and know how difficult it can be. I hope you and your family get the time they need to heal together.

August 23, 2007 6:08 am  
Blogger AmyTree said...

Big hugs and warm thoughts to your whole family.

August 23, 2007 10:36 am  
Blogger Mopsa said...

Wishing you and your family long life. Sincere condolences.

August 23, 2007 11:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel, I'm so very sorry, I send you and your family my sincere sympathies.

August 23, 2007 2:19 pm  
Blogger Peach said...

So sorry to hear this, peace to your Mum XXX

August 23, 2007 2:45 pm  
Blogger EADotCom said...

So many have said all I wanted to say. But felt I should comment as well. Heartfelt prayer for and condolences to a courageous woman and her loved ones. All the way from Southeast Asia.

August 23, 2007 4:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog through your interview on This American Life. I just wanted to express my deepest sympathies for your loss. I too have lost someone close to me this week and I know it must be excruciating. Try and hold on to all the positive that your mother brought to your life. Remember her spirit and celebrate her life. Good luck to you and yours.

August 23, 2007 4:43 pm  
Blogger Davide Simonetti said...

Deepest sympathy and condolences. May she rest in peace.

August 23, 2007 5:06 pm  
Blogger Nadeem - Azam Marketing said...

I'm so sorry about this. My thoughts and prayers have been with your entire family since I got the news from your sis.

August 23, 2007 6:26 pm  
Blogger sysadmin said...

With greatest sympathy, Rachel.

J and V.

August 23, 2007 6:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear your news. Mr McKeating put a note up about it.

August 23, 2007 7:33 pm  
Blogger Rachel Joyce said...

My sincerest condolences and very best wishes to you and your family.

August 23, 2007 9:11 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

My love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, dear Rachel.

August 23, 2007 10:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you, your father and family all the very best. My sympathies, Dan x

August 24, 2007 6:11 am  
Blogger Paul Evans said...

Sorry to hear of your loss Rachel.

August 24, 2007 8:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful photograph of Brenda - just as we remember her.

Janet and Brian.

August 24, 2007 1:02 pm  
Blogger Daniele said...

My sincerest condolences to you and yours Rachel. hugs.

August 24, 2007 1:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry..

August 24, 2007 4:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


what can i say i am so sorry.My heart goes out to you,J, and the rest of your family.


August 25, 2007 1:18 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we say in Judaism, I wish you a long life.

This may seem like the wrong time, but your book is brilliantly written and extremely moving. I am sure your Mother is proud of you, wherever she may be.


August 25, 2007 10:08 am  
Blogger Anchita said...

Dear Rachel,
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I am sure you and your family will deal with this loss with fortitude. I wish you strength and peace.
I live in Kolkata, India and I finished reading your book just yesterday. It is a brave and deeply moving book.

August 25, 2007 3:42 pm  
Blogger Anthony said...

Deepest condolences.

August 25, 2007 10:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sincere condolences to you and your family.

May your mom rest in peace........

August 27, 2007 12:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry.



August 30, 2007 5:26 pm  
Blogger Seeker said...

I have got behind with blog-reading because I have been away a lot - so have ony just read about your mother. Although it is some weeks ago now, I would still like to say how sorry I am. God bless you all.

October 10, 2007 6:06 pm  

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