Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Four weeks ago my mother rang me early one morning to say that the ambulance had come to take her to hospital. She died three weeks later. It was a great shock to all of the family as we had no idea she was ill apart from the increasing pain she was feeling in her spine. We understood this to be from degeneration of the spine, which is not normally a terminal illness. As test results were revealed over the next few days, the family gathered in Auckland - her three children (my brother Mark flying home from England), her grandchildren and great-grandchildren(from all over New Zealand). We all spent as much time as we could in hospital with mum and in my sister's home with dad, supporting and comforting mum, dad and each other. The strength of the family gathering and just hanging out like that was amazing. We went through the acknowledged grief cycle together over that time: denial, anger, depression and finally, acceptance. She didn't live long enough to leave Auckland hospital for hospice care and the staff in her ward were very good to us all, making it very easy to stay with mum as long as we wanted to each day and, especially, all of her last night.

The funeral was a chance to say goodbye and to pay tribute to our lovely, patient, kind, thoughtful, clever mum (I learnt my sewing skills from her). We played a series of photos of her, all I could collect together from various sources, at the service:

And after the funeral, my 4 year old grand-daughter Jessica borrowed Terry's camera and took some great pictures at the wake:


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Dear Janice,

How very sorry I am to hear of your mum's passing. I lost my own mother when I was in my 20's so I know the feeling of loss. Your pictures are a wonderful tribute. And your 4yo grand daughter did a lovely job on her photos too. It is good to have sweet memories.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

So sorry to hear about your mom.
I can see you all loved her very much.
You were lucky to have her as long as you did and your memories will help you make through.

emmad said...

Didn't Jessica do well.

miniaturequilter said...

So sorry for your loss, remember all those wonderful things she taught you and cherish the memories you have of her. Your in my thoughts and prayers.

gwensmom said...

I am sorry to hear your sad news. I shudder when I think of losing my mother. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Helen said...

Hi Janice

Thinking of you and terry. Thanks for the peak into your family's archives. I'm sorry I never met your Mum. I'm sure glad she taught you to sew though.

Jessica's pictures are just adorable.

Ali Honey said...

What a sad time for you all Janice. I'm very sorry you lost your dear Mum. She must have loved it that you became a quilter. I think I recognise those west coast black sandy beaches in those photos. I certainly recognise the fashions being worn in some of them.
Be glad your Mum did not suffer too long and remember her fondly; laugh a lot but cry when you need to.
Hugs from Ali.