Bye love, for now


When we noticed her deteriorating suddenly, I prayed that she would die in her sleep. Peacefully, without any pain or struggle.

She did, in the middle of the night.

R woke me at 5.30am when he got up to get ready for work and said, “Mum died.”

She had a stroke the day we got back to the UK and never really regained consciousness since then. We knew things were bad, so we prepared ourselves, but no matter how much you tell yourself it’s going to happen, the pain and hurt which hit you when it does never seem to be any less.

The truth is, I think we all have had an exhausting four months. R had to come home a week early after we got married in October because his mother’s health took a turn for the worse. She remained bed-ridden at home since and we all took turns to be around her 24 hours a day.

It has been a challenging journey for me. I recall that on her first night out from hospital, she was confused and climbed out of the bed. She ended up on the floor, breathless and in distress. R was on a night shift so I was the only one around. With all my might I hauled her back into bed and at the end of it I was drenched in sweat. I was already 6 weeks pregnant then, but I did not know.

Sometimes she didn’t know whether it was day or night, whether I was a nurse or her daughter-in-law, whether she was in hospital or at home. She would imagine things and I have learnt to go along with her story rather than correct her because she would get agitated otherwise.

She told me once to go out of the house to run after a train with a glass of water, so I pretended I did. She told me there was something stuck underneath her table so I pretended to remove it. She told me she had made soup and it was in the fridge so I opened a tin of soup and pretended it was the one she cooked.

After she fell ill, R and I never really did anything spontaneous together anymore. If we wanted to go somewhere together, it would have to be planned a few days in advance so we could arrange for someone to be in the house. The last time we took a walk in the countryside was probably last summer. The last time we hit the gym together was before we got married.

Apart from going to work, we hardly went anywhere else. We looked after Mum’s meals and personal hygiene, kept her company, made sure she was comfortable. All this required so much patience and there were times when we got so tired, exasperated and frustrated when our efforts didn’t seem to pay off.

But as far as I could remember, she was ever so nice to me. She welcomed me to her home when I moved here in 2008, she shared her food with me and gave me money on my birthdays. She always told me she loved me like a daughter. She was always so generous and considerate.

She was a woman of few desires. All she ever wanted, was to be at home and around family. She wanted to be in her own house and bed as she entered the end of her life journey, and so no matter how hard it was for us to manage, we kept her here instead of taking the easy way out of sending her to the hospice.

I would like to think we did the best we could for her and did not let her down.

I stood by her bedside to touch her cold face and say my goodbyes. I could barely get my words out properly but I would like to think she knew what I wanted to say.

I would like to think she waited for us to come back from Singapore before slipping away.

I would like to think she went in peace and she is now at ease.

Goodbye lovely.

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, Life

2 Comments on “Bye love, for now”

  1. hazel Says:

    Am very sorry to read about this… Please send my condolences to R and take care of yourself alright? Waiting to catch up with you and bb again when you return to Singapore in Sept!

  2. tintedglasses Says:

    Thank you for your kind words Hazel. It was lovely to see you, albeit briefly, at our place over CNY. We’ll definitely be back with the baby Sep/Oct, and you are welcome to come and ogle at his naked bum. 🙂


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