Yesterday, 6 August 2015, my mother was finally laid to rest with a funeral service and burial, almost six weeks after she passed away peacefully in her sleep overnight following her 101st birthday in her home town of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. She had suffered no recent illness or pain, other than what could be expected in a body that has reached such a degree of longevity.
She is buried in the same grave plot as my father (though she married and survived a second husband).
I did not personally attend the funeral but I wrote a Eulogy for Mum, to be read out at the funeral service and also arranged for flowers to drape her coffin.
My last visit to England to see her was in 2011 and I had vowed at the time that I would never again make that long, gruelling journey from Australia, now my home. I did get to speak with her by telephone for a few minutes on her birthday, only hours before she passed away and while I didn’t expect it to happen so soon afterwards (she was still expressing a keen wish to get back to her own house), I sensed from her voice that she was growing weaker. My mother had lived independently and alone, with a little help from carers in recent years, in the same house that was our family home since the early 1960s after my father died, and which after my brother and I had moved out she later shared with her second husband, right up until being hospitalised for a month or so before her death. Many of us are not so fortunate as to live out their final years so peacefully. I can only hope for a similar experience myself.
While I did not get to see Mum often and was less than regular with my phone calls to her, I will miss her. I already am.
Read the Eulogy here: Eulogy for my Mum
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