People don’t realise that has horrible as Mum dying was, it’s her illness which is having such a huge effect on me at the moment.
It was seeing her slurring and seeing things on the walls, unable to eat or walk, and then getting lost in Leeds in the dark on a Friday night because I was so upset I didn’t look where I was going and before I knew it I was stuck somewhere not-so-safe. Before that I was so confident at being out and about but now if I’m out in the dark I am so anxious and it’s only made worse by noise.
It was seeing the woman I’ve always seen as so strong, capable and ‘big’ unable to even reach up to her face to scratch her cheek… having to feed her water through a sponge and wipe her face for her. Then seeing other women, who I’ve always seen as role models, crying. Leaving the room and crying. Turning away and crying. Breaking down unable to speak. Having to remain strong for them, because they needed it.
The last stages of her illness were hard, really hard… but it was the sudden deterioration 8 months prior to that which really changed everything. It was so sudden and so unexpected.
I miss my Mum a huge amount, and there is a lot to come to terms with, but it’s the illness I’m struggling to get past. I get images in my head and I can see them in front of me when I’m watching TV or walking in the street or whatever and they won’t go away. Sometimes it feels like I’m back there. I haven’t slept in my bedroom at Dad’s house since that week.
I don’t know how to deal with it or where to go with it. There are no answers or solutions. I don’t even remember it all properly (yet?) but it’s just always there.
It was seeing the woman I’ve always seen as so strong, capable and ‘big’ unable to even reach up to her face to scratch her cheek…