Friday, 9 December 2011

The wrong time

We hear a lot about a person dying at the wrong time. "She was so young/had so much to live for/at this time of year" etc. And, of course, all are often true. But I would like to add to that list.

Because it turns out that 3.30 on a Monday afternoon is also the wrong time to die.

I always thought death came in the middle of the night. An urgent phone call that brings the recipient from sleep to startled in an instant. Tears in the dark, unsure whether to wake others or sit with the news until a civilised hour. Having been on alert nightly for months for such a call, I didn't imagine it would come as I listened to Steve Wright bantering while I finished my online Tesco order. I hadn't braced myself as I did when I went to sleep each night, phones by the bed ready.

Someone told me that waiting for a terminally ill person to die is like waiting to be punched. Though you know it's coming, it doesn't hurt or shock any less when it finally arrives.We were just coming to terms with the news that she now had only months left. With her typical humour, she was excited about her 'Last Supper' as she was calling the family Christmas celebrations we had planned. She'd ordered gaudy decorations and 'posh' silver crackers. Turns out her worn out little body had somewhere else to be.

So, Merry Christmas, Mum. I'm sure they celebrate in style where you are. Then rest in peace, my darling.