I thought I’d write this blog as I think I need to.
So, I’m working on my computer listing like a mad women on eBay. I only had dial up in those days, so if anyone called the landline it would go straight to answerphone. Anyhoo. I finished work just before I had to pick James up from school, and realised I had a couple of messages on my answerphone. Just thinking about this makes me feel dizzy
“Hello, miss Ellis. This is Queen Mary’s hospital. We have your mum in as she was found at home unconscious, and is unresponsive. Could you please call us on ***, thank you”
When I put the phone down i cried and panicked. Mum had been unwell for years..she had emphysema which had restricted her going out, and this along with anxiety and agrophobia had literally made her housebound at 56. Not only this but she was in the middle of a rather stressful legal fight with my dad about the house she lived in (they divorced in 1982 yet his name wasn’t removed from deeds so mum went to court and it was decided that he would be awarded 6k when my mum found sheltered accommodation to move into.I don’t think his solicitor hounding her everyday helped her anxiety much the pricks) I was lucky to have amazing friends at the time, one of which picked James up and baby sat him, and the other took me to the hospital to see my mum.
When I arrived it was the worst thing ever seeing your mum lying in a bed unconscious..but i was able to communiate by asking her to blink. When my brother arrived we were ushered to a private room and was told mum was dying and that all we could do was let her die. It was fucking awful. Her lungs were failing, and there was nothing that could be done apart from giving her oxygen and keeping her comfortable . Poor thing must of been petrified, she was reliant on Diazapham ( after having a breakdown yeas ago the Dr prescribed these and – along with the cigarettes- helped her cope on a day to day basis) and with hindsight I wish I’d demanded she was given something for her nerves as she lay there dying.
The next few hours are a blur, I think I went home and packed a bag for her and myself.I remember rubbing cream into her hands and talking to her. We were in a private room but in the geriatrics ward and there was an old lady who wouldn’t stop screaming. I was too scared to sleep that night. I stayed awake just looking at mum, removing her oxygen and wiping her face, holding her hand and crying. I think I called her friends and family to tell them what had happened and for them to come the next day to say their goodbyes. It’s so strange but over the next day I could smell and sense my grandad. I’d like to think he was waiting to take her with him to a better place.
Through her last day on this earth she had many visitors who came and said goodbye as well as James who was 6 then . I think she was fully unconscious now. She was a well liked lady. All through the day and the next evening the nurse kept checking up on her and her heart was beating strong. I tried to stay awake but fell asleep around 2am as I thought her heart would keep her going. But unfortunately she passed away some time when I was sleeping next to her. I never forget myself for that, I only hope she knew she wasnt alone when she passed away.