My mum died last month. It has not been the greatest month ever, nor the best three years or so, for her or us, before that.
It’s better for her: she was, to put it mildly, absolutely fed up with being ill and weak and barred from all of the little pleasures that made life worth living for her – mostly a drink at the pub, and a round robin put on at the bookies’, watching grim Brit crime dramas and hanging out with her sprightly middle-aged sprigs of offspring.
I’m not sure it’s better for us: I know it’s better for my mum not to suffer anymore, but all the same, I miss my mum. I was always Mummy’s girl, perhaps because she suffered an injury when I was a toddler that meant I had limited access to her for a while, which is hard for a small child to understand. I remember being tiny and pounding on the loo door in terror when she answered a call of nature, because being separated from her even for a minute or two was terrifying.
I miss her. I’m not weeping, not incapacitated, I go on with my daily life. But I miss her, all the time.
I will also note that, when I pop off this mortal coil myself, and rock up at the Pearly Gates, I’m planning on tossing away St. Peter’s guest list, storming the gates, and punching God in the face. For how she suffered, in those last weeks and months. It’s not acceptable to me. The point needs to be made.
I think I’ll get a free pass. I think he’ll understand. He’d better.
* From The Homeward Bounders, Diana Wynne Jones.