My Mum would now be 95 years old – had she not succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer some 11 years ago. It is a massive regret that I couldn’t be there at the time of her passing – as I had flown back to Australia having spent the month of January with her (accompanied by my wife, Priti – whom my mum really liked). At the time I couldn’t see the point of flying back to the UK for the funeral – such was my grief (or was it anger with the health professionals?). Or, more likely it was anger with myself for being powerless to do anything about it! Either way, she died alone. In a care home that was clearly wanting to care but was also chronically understaffed.
As my mother’s children now move toward their own inevitable deaths, I am minded that my behaviour over her funeral was not well received, and that funerals are not for the dead but for those who live on, so that we might live on with the same active engagement with humanity demonstrated by the recently deceased. My mum was enjoying her various interactions with her kids, her kid’s significant others and with her various carers and medical practitioners.
I only hope I too can find such enjoyment. I would hope to re-establish connection with my siblings. I suspect it is what my mother would want.