The last time I saw her she was a little, wizened old lady. I say “saw” but I am blind, so I didn’t see her properly. I couldn’t make out the features on her face, or her hair. But I could just see that she was huddled inside a sort of pale lemony coloured blanket. She was so tiny, with her head just poking out of the blanket. She wasn’t in a bed, but in a recliner chair in her living room. I had had problems getting in because the room was so cluttered and I am blind. She always was cluttered, with just the narrowest of gaps in the hall to squeeze through into the living room. There, against the wall was her beloved shopping trolley. We always said we would bury that with her, she was so attached to it. But there is to be no funeral. It is how she wanted it.

I made my way to the settee with difficulty, falling over her sticks and one or two other things as well. Being blind, I did not see the commode right in front of her chair, and right in front of the coffee table near to the settee where I was going to sit. I knocked it. Fortunately, it and its contents did not fall over!

I sat on the settee “looking” at her, wishing I could see her face.

“I can’t talk,” she said.

“It’s O.K. You don’t have to,” I said. But she made anjolly good fist of it anyway. She found the breath from somewhere.

I didn’t know whether I was meant to be there. She never liked me. Not since I upset her world by coming into it. But she was my mother. And you always feel something for your mother– don’t you?

Strangely, I loved her. Despite all the abuse that she meted out to me. People say,

“How could you?”

But I did. And I loved her more than ever now. Now that she was so frail and fragile. Although I could not see properly, I could just tell that if you squeezed her she just might break. I longed to go over to her and comfort her. Hold her hand. Maybe even put my arms around her, gently so she didn’t break.

I don’t know what we talked about. I think she mainly talked about her recent stay in hospital when she “died” twice. According to the Consultant the next 48 hours would be critical. He asked if she should be resuscitated or not. My heart froze. This was IT. Only it wasn’t. Not then, anyway. She pulled through. Advanced sepsis it was. Plus her kidneys were only working at 15%. And her heart was not working properly either. She was dehydrated, and after they had brought her back to life again they put her on a drip. Injected fluids into her for a week. Plus antibiotics.

But she was invincible. And now, there she was, sat in the chair. My love for her burned inside of me. But I could not show it. She hated to be loved. Love was not what she wanted. Admiration maybe. And worship. And fear. But not love. Not so long ago, just before she was rushed into hospital, I had been to see her. She had actually seen me coming, from her chair, and had got up to come and open the front door. She was so tiny, even then. She could hardly breathe. Emphysema. The noise of her breathing chilled me inside. I put my arms around here there, at the door, and cried. She just stood there, unmoved. No response at all. She didn’t like love. But I’ve already said that haven’t I!

Anyway, she’s gone. Out of my life now. I grieve. And I love her still. But she never loved me.

20 thoughts on “A DEATH

  1. blindzanygirl

    Thanks Larry. I am so sorry to hear about your parents. It is indeed a hard thing to deal with. Please accept my caring and condolences. It is sonhard when your mother hated you, and was highly abusive. But the most natural thing in the wirld is for a young child to love its mother, whatever. Then when the abuse gets bad. You become SO confused. I am going through a time of deep confusion now, thinking of you Larry

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wish I could offer words of wisdom, but I can only offer empathy, having had a father (now long dead) who showed me no love. Fortunately, my mother was the complete opposite of yours.

    Take care.


  3. I’m sorry for your loss. There must have been some good times? I grieved my mother a lot, although we were never particularly close in life – two very different people. She was a good grandmother to my daughter.


  4. I am deeply sorry to hear of this great loss………….I can only fathom the thoughts and emotions that are bouncing conituously through your mind. In situations like this, we tend to moun what never can be. Every child wants to feel the love of their mother………no matter what age they are. And when we don’t receive it, we internalize it, that we are unloveable. You my dear are more than loveable, you are an amazing human being that graces this Earth with your beautiful presence and I am one of the lucky ones who gets to have contact with you. Please always remember just how wonderful you are!


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