Friday, October 22, 2010


I am an orphan. Today I am planning my mother's funeral. Today I face life in a very new and scary world without my biggest support.

We lost her at 3.30am 21/10/10. Like everything, she chose her own way to leave the world, and her own time. The doctors' thought it would be days and I stupidly went home late the night before planning on returning before sun-up in the morning. But she beat me to it. At 4am another of those dreadful calls came through, and as soon as it woke me I knew.

She was quite coherent until the end, had made her wishes more than clear. Tired, in pain, and finished with life. Gave the doctors strict instructions on a DNR. Expressed her gratitude to me for not denying her the right to choose death. Yesterday a dear friend reminded me: "Just like your grandmother chose to leave." And she was right. Strong stock these Madmother women.

Wise Woman asked to say goodbye to Boy 1 and Boy 2, which was another reason I chose to leave. Even though she had been in hospital nearly two months they honestly thought Nanna would bounce back, after all she always had in their lifetime. They cried, told her they loved her, thanked her for being there and everything she had ever done for them. She left them in no doubt as to how she felt about them, they had given her reason to breathe for the last decade or so, without them she may well have chosen this path earlier believing her work to be done.

"But why is she dying? what is she dying of?" Boy 2 cried. How do you explain to an 11 year old about choosing death. As bright as he is the choice was simple: you love me, why leave me?

I spoke to him as clearly as I could get my mind around it (and I must admit there was a little girl inside me screaming the same thing)... "Nanna is frail, the pain is too much and her tired body is worn out. She has lived a wonderful, happy life and does not want the end of her life to be full of misery and anguish. It is her choice and as WE love her we need to let her know it is okay and we understand."

Driving home from the hospital, after much thought he states: "I am really sad, but inside me is a little part rejoicing for her."  God, these children, they amaze me and give me strength to go on.
Boy 1 was quiet, tears silently rolling down his cheeks. Once home he asked me: "How do I go on without someone who has helped me all my life. How do I get used to her not being there?" I could not answer straight away for I too feel the same.
I must face life without her, knowing that the one person who saw me warts and all, who loved me no matter what, and who was my biggest safety net when I fell, is gone. Not in my heart but in my physical world. No more can I ring her to laugh over something, no more can I seek her wise counsel when the angry world confuses me. No more can I drop in unannounced, giving her last minute warning with a "tooot toooot" at the door.

I am hurting, and yet grateful. To have had Wise Woman in my life for so long is an incredible blessing. To be raised by such a woman, well, words fail me.

Mum, I love you, I will always love you and hold you in my heart. I promise to do you proud.

Wise Woman
5/10/1919 - 21/10/2010

daughter of an incredible woman.


Tracy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your Mother sounds like she was an amazing woman.

Terri said...

Dear, dear MM,

I am so sorry for this goodbye. I will pray for the comfort of all your family, and for the strength to do what you must: Go on without her.

My heart overflows for you.

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss of such an amazing woman. But wow, those kids and their insight... You've written such beautiful words to honour such a beautiful woman. There are no words that I can offer to help you at such a dark time, but please know that you're in my heart x

Thea said...

I am so very sorry to hear of your beautiful mum's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xxx

Kylie said...

I am so sorry that this time has come.

Your posts have always been so clear about how amazing you and everyone else find your Mother, and even clearer on the love you all feel for her.

I wish you and your family peace in the coming months, and may she have passed her strength on to you.


AussieWaffler said...

I am so sorry Tanya, my heart goes out to you and the family. xo

Anonymous said...

MM, I am so,so sorry. I am glad that you all got a chance to say goodbye, though that doesn't diminish the pain or grief.

You know I'm always here for you, any time.

RIP Wise Woman.


E. said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your love for your mother has shone out of every post you have written about her.

I'm sure she is proud of you and your family.

Thinking of you all at this sad and difficult time.

Katrina said...

Oh I'm so so sorry that your no longer in the same world as your mum and she has passed on... Your words continue to mirror the love you share and your boys sounds as though they are growing up with the same wisdom and strength she showed during her life. Take comfort in that she did it her way... I wish there were words that could help ease your grief but there isn't - and at that I'm pretty bad with words in these kinds of situations... Just know I'm a friend you've never met who is here sharing a tear or three with you at this time in your life xxx

Kimmie said...

Thinking of you~!



Dr.Lyn said...

Tan, you have the most amazing boys with so much awareness they have gained from WW,you and hubby. The words you have said about your mum is something most of us want, (me included). I am sitting hear crying not sure what to write. I love you and......too much crying to write anymore.

Travis said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers today. Thank you for sharing with us.

Sarah said...

I recently lost my mother too, so know how you are feeling in this new world without a mother.

Thinking of you

Kakka said...

Dearest MM, Big Boy and Boy 1 and Boy 2 - my heart is saddened with the news, but it is also strengthened by WW's strength and courage right to the end. My heart is uplifted by the love within your family. If I lived closer I would hold you close and let you have my shoulder if you needed to cry, I would be there for anything you needed, instead I can only offer you my support from afar. Once more draw on the strength within, but please remember to take some time for yourself, even if it is a moment to sit and quietly breathe. Much love xxx

Kim Thompson said...

Sending warmth, love, and care from the States. What a beautiful woman. What a beautiful family.

Caitlyn Nicholas said...

God MM, am so immensely sorry. Hugs and best wishes at this horrible time.


Jen said...

What beautiful boys you have MM. I am so sorry again for your loss :(.

Tammy said...

Sending you and your family love, hugs and sypmathies on the loss of your dear Mum.... may she now rest in peace....