Chitterne Now and Then
Blog Archive - February 2012

Monday 20th February 2012 - Sad Thoughts

There are sad things happening in the village that have reminded me of sad times with our youngest daughter, Mandy. I haven't put these thoughts into words before, but just in case they help, here they are:

Mandy died just after midnight in hospital in London. I and a nurse were with her. D came from home a few hours later and I went with him to see her body laid out on the bed in the room that she and I had shared for a week or so. I had already seen her and I said to him: It's not Mandy, it doesn't look like her. He agreed. Her body, usually crooked with scoliosis, had been straightened out. It didn't look like Mandy. She was no longer present.

The feeling I remember most vividly after leaving the hospital is of unreality. We had to go to register her death later that morning and the first thing that struck me as we drove through London streets was: How come everything and everyone is carrying on as normal? Why are the shops still open, the buses still running, the people still going about their business? Didn't they know Mandy is dead? Why hasn't her death affected them? It was as if my world had stopped but no one else's had. Surely everyone could feel the same upheaval that I felt? No, it was just me, the rest of the world was oblivious.

Back home as I wandered around the house where Mandy had lived with us almost all her life I kept expecting to see her come into the room or be in another room just a few yards away. In her room I again felt the unreality, how come all her things were here but she wasn't? How could that be? How could her belongings exist without her? It didn't seem fair.

Six years on she appears in my thoughts occasionally. Usually something reminds me of her, or I catch sight of her photo just to the right of my computer screen. She added something precious but intangible to our family. She made us all better people. We still have a lot of her things around the house. In my kitchen cupboard there is a jar of Plum Sauce she made the year before she died. I can't throw it away. It has a hand-written label: 'Chinese Plum Sauce 20-12-2004 from Mandy's kitchen'.

Comment: Well I hadnít cried for a few days and that has just started me off again but in a good way.
You have expressed how I have felt for that last week but not been able to say.
Sorry for your loss but as you demonstrate so wonderfully everyday, life goes on although somewhat changed. ESP

Wednesday 15th February 2012 - New Granddaughter

I'm breathing a big sigh of relief that our granddaughter finally arrived safely last Friday 12 days late. At the time I hadn't realised just how tense I was. I think its worse waiting for a daughter to give birth than it is having a baby yourself! Mind you, my tension may have had something to do with A's experience last time giving birth to our grandson, who for nearly 4 days avoided all efforts to persuade him to come into the world.

Not so with this one. She came in such a rush that plans for using the birthing pool and even laying on the bed flew out the window! So to say I am relieved is an understatement. Baby E is beautiful, of course I would say that, and has quite a lot of dark hair. She was almost the same weight as grandson but 3cm longer and she looks like him although her head is smaller ("thank goodness" said her Mum.)

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