Friday, 27 November 2009
My mother died today at just before ten to six in the evening. She was 85 and had suffered from dementia for some years. I was called to Clowne when a doctor visiting just after midday identified pneumonia and a collapsed lung. She was breathing with effort and regularly. When I addressed her directly, she gave an exaggerated movement. My sister, niece and myself were there, my sister's husband for a time who had met me at the house and shown me the way to the residential home. The three of us who had sat there for some hours wondered what we might do - I would say my goodbye, and then I said (long before I might actually leave) that I would go to the toilet after all. At this point my mother's breathing simply stopped, and I noticed this instantly. She then did a kind of choking cough, which I took as her resuming, but it was just a bodily reaction. She had simply stopped. We heard how her spreading cancer had never given any sign of pain. She simply stopped while we were there.