Sunday, 27 April 2008

Golf Therapy

Every day is the first day of the rest of my life. Today in particular, though, was time to move on to once again enjoying what might be seen as mundane things. And so I played in my first competitive medal round since the Shire opened last year.

I didn't play particularly well, but I enjoyed the fresh air and exercise and the ability to concentrate 100% on playing golf and not let other emotions intrude. And undoubtedly I feel better because of this.

Of course reality hit later, because in the past I used to ring my Mum on a Sunday, tell her what I had done and discuss what she had done. That is not now possible. But I know she would want me to get on with life and this is what I will do. And perhaps my Mum's passing will help me to put life into perspective, to ignore trivial difficulties (like the ball I hit out of bounds at the 5th hole) and become more determined to get as much satisfaction and enjoyment as I can from this short and precarious life that we have.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Getting on with life

I am back in London. I went to work on Friday and played a few holes of golf today. Back into the normal routine. I know I must do that. But I do it with an empty feeling inside me.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Remembering Mum

My Dad, Sister and I went for a walk along the bank of the River Spey from its mouth to the old railway bridge a few hundred yards upstream. It was cathartic to get some fresh air. But all the time I remembered the walks we used to go on when my Mum was with us. When I took a photo of my Dad and Sister, I wanted to say to my Mum that she should be in the photo. But she wasn't there.

And I remember the final trip we went on back on October when I drove my Mum and Dad to Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness. This is the final photo I ever took of my Mother.

Goodbye Mum. You lived a full and active life and I must now live the rest of my life without you. And I need to look after my Dad who is greiving very much. May your soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Remember - and smile

Today was my Mum's funeral. I was determined to say something, and although it was difficult to do this without breaking down, I was glad I did. It allowed my to feel part of the funeral service and not just a passive onlooker.

I finished my talk by quoting Christine Rosetti who wrote the following in a poem often quoted at funerals -
'Better by far you should forget and smile
than that you should remember and be sad.'

I said that my Mum would have put it differently. That she would have said to all of us -
Better by far that you should remember - and smile.

And I must try to remember with pride, love and affection without getting too angry or sad at my Mum's passing. Right now though I just feel an emptiness.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Funeral Arrangements

On Monday I got back from the Isle of Wight and then managed to get a flight up to the North of Scotland to be with my Dad.

He had already made most of the arrangements, but I was able to confirm these. And hopefully I was able to be of some comfort to him.

On Wednesday I went to the Chapel of Rest to see my Mum lying so peacefully and serenely in the coffin. It was important that I did that although it was very tough. She looked as if she was dozing and I expected her to open one eye and say 'Oh, it's you'. But of course she did not and can not.

I try to be strong, but it is not easy.

Sunday, 13 April 2008


As our weekend in the isle of Wight was coming to a close, I got a phone call from my father. My Mum, who had moved to a care home less than 2 weeks ago, had caught a chest infection and was not very well. He held the phone up and I could hear her wheezing and fighting for breath.

Two hours later he called to tell me that my Mum had died.

Although she had had a stroke back in November, I was not expecting this. It was a real shock. I can't quite take in the fact that I will never again speak to my Mum.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Isle of Wight

This weekend Andrew and I went to the Isle of Wight for the weekend with a crowd of his friends. We would be staying at a Warner Breaks Hotel at Bemberidge for an Abba weekend. I had been dubious beforehand. Even more so when I got there. I felt that I was the youngest person there. It was like a weekend in a care home.

But the location of the hotel was good and as the weekend progressed I relaxed into it. And I liked the isle of Wight. On Friday we went to the old Windmill, on Saturday we went to Osborne House and on Sunday we went to the Needles. Each evening there was entertainment, culminating in a show by Bjorn Again on the Saturday evening. And the food was excellent.

So in the end I was rather bemused by the fact that I was enjoying a weekend which I would not normally have said was my thing at all.