Hi Splodge. Nice name! Your mother's death is so recent. You sound in good form. My lovely mother died nearly 8 months ago. Heartbreaking. I was in a daze for a few months. Was so desperate. Went to Church one Sunday, a week after her death. I nearly collapsed in a lovely woman's arms. I was devastated. She comforted me. I would have thanked her more, but it was just before the Service!!! Kind people. That's what you need when something awful happens. My mother was such a fun, brave, kind woman. She was 82. Because she had a young spirit, i forgot her age. She had to keep reminding me! I feel bad enough about my mother's death. Then i think how awful the Grenfell people must feel. People that have lost whole families!such strong, brave people.
Lady P. So sorry you haven't been feeling your usual optimistic self. I know how strong tramadol is. Bloody hell, they didn't help? Must have been bad. Your son was great coming to the rescue. Feeling dehydrated is awful. It affects the whole body & mind. Hope to read some of your 'adventures' soon. Hope you feel ok soon. X
Good morning Vixen and all friends here
I could really identify with your church story though Im a fully-paid up atheist (catholic by upbringing) I visited St James church in Piccadilly not long ago, a church you will no doubt know. They make everyone so welcome there. If I was going to collapse into anyone’s arms, it would be there. It’s clear you miss your mum so much and that pain will ease...though why I’m saying that is a mystery. The grief is cathartic and best not rushed. And, as I have discovered, grief is often sharper when there were emotional ‘issues’ as with my mother. My mother was an extremely violent woman and damaged me and my four brothers immensely...which nevertheless didn’t stop us feeling love for her...that love being tempered by many other uncomfortable feelings like anger. She died 20 years ago and I wish I could let go of my victim feelings, which don’t, however rule my life.
Have you ever seen st James church, Vixen? I expect you must have. There’s a green wooden caravan in the grounds where counselling students offer their services for free.
In Psris, we visited St Germain and my brother and SIL visited St Sulpice after my departure. For an atheist, I don’t half get about a lot of churches and cemeteries. Found a lovely little cemetery...St Vincent...near our hotel in Montmartre. I’d planned to go to Montparnasse, an old favourite, especially to see a beautiful little Brancusi sculpture called ‘The Kiss’ but discovered they had locked it into a box! I love the history of the graveyards and my ‘friends’ buried within, favourite writers. (Same goes for this country...not much better than a day out in Highgate!) it must be the Irish in me.
I feel so much better this morning, it seems barely possible. This has happened once before, a few weeks ago, and tramadol proved worse than useless then too! I manage so well on my own usually that I sometimes forget I need other people. My son made a dinner for me at 10pm. I had not managed to keep anything down before then, which doesn’t help, does it? And even at midnight I was drinking earl grey tea, eating cake and watching ‘Extras’ on catch up. The sense of gratitude you feel when you recover after being sick is immeasurable!
I’d planned a lot of things to do in Paris but ended up simply doing a lot of very pleasurable ‘hanging out’ with my brother and SIL...the first night being devoted to the Thai restaurant with my youngest son’s girlfriend and her sister. It seems to be the closest I can get to him these days. I suppose another trip to Glasgow may be in order to see him and my middle son...though middle son does visit me quite frequently here in Hastings.
The return journey from Paris was not as difficult as I’d feared what with ‘technical’ problems, not stopping at Ashford International etc. But again, I realised how much I need other people where before I would have charged ahead with a lot of (polite) complaining. I should tell you I have good acting skills as the ‘Mother of All Sorrows’ and I was wearing my best ‘I have Cancer’ headgear! And as a consequence, and perhaps because people are innately very kind, I had the most amazing help almost from start to finish. I had expected my ex-husband to have left Ashford by the time I got there. I searched the car park for my car. No joy. My young assistant asked what car it was then, miraculously spotted the ex driving back in. Never was I so happy to see a man! He absolutely refuses to use a mobile phone so there was no guarantee he’d be there and we were now an hour or more on from the original meeting time.
Initially, when I discovered there were problems with this journey, I was mentally sketching out the stiff letter of complaint to Eurostar...instead of which I’m now thinking effusive praise for all those who made me feel human, like I mattered. Worth more than any financial compensation. So there was another little life lesson I wasn’t expecting.
My son has stayed the night but little noise from his room. I’d best go and call him. Ah! Just like the old days!
Love to all,
Good morrow to thee ms Pepys, (and anyone else reading!) i know St James Church. Mum & i used to go there sometimes. I went there one day, when one of her lungs collapsed. Lit a candle, felt like a hypocrite praying that she would pull through. But it helped me & she made it. Lived another 15yrs!! I also liked reading other peoples' prayers. Comforting that you're not alone with tragedy. I know what you mean about Churches & Cemetaries. I live near the little St Pauls Actors Church. Has a lovely little garden. Loads of plaques inside, all very famous actors. Vivien Leigh etc. There's also a little epitaph in the grounds. There was a famous French highwayman that sounded very sexy! It says 'If thoust be a man, look after thy purse. If thoust be a woman. Look after your heart!! Women didn't mind being robbed at gunpoint if he was the mugger. His name was Claude Duval. Even the name's romantic!!
I also know about recovering & feeling such euphoria when you're starting to feel 'normal' again. I love to just get into bed, tea, chunk of cake & a bloody good comedy!!! On my tablet. Fantastic. I love extras. Don't eat while you watch that. Very dangerous!! I have a whole list of comedies i rely on. I'm actually watching Victoria Wood while i write this. She was so talented. There was many a time my mum would come to my place. Tea, cake & bung Victoria Wood on or Auf Weidershen Pet. We were wandering around Russell Sq. (A favourite place we liked to go). Suddenly my mum recognised a man in a little raincoat. It was only Bill Patterson!! He's a well known, brilliant Scottish actor. He played a bit of a greasy gangster on auf weider. My mum did her usual 'mugging technique'. Nearly knocked him under a bus!! But he was so sweet & modest. She said she'd always wanted to meet him. He promptly blushed. There were loads of ambulances & fire engines outside the station. I was on the phone to my boyfriend trying to find out what was happening. I often wish i'd shared that moment more with my mum. While she was meeting one of her faves, i was on the pigging phone!! Anyway. So glad you're feeling more 'normal'. Keep it up Ms Pepys. I love your style of writing. X
I Thank you for your generous post Vixen. So entertaining! The Bill Patterson story reminds me of that scene in Father Ted where Ted approaches Victor Meldrew (or whoever the actor is).
I’m not quite back up to speed yet after the sickness. I also feel rather depressed by news of two deaths in the Incurables group..two marvellous, funny, courageous women. That news brings you back to earth with a thud.
After missing chemo yesterday I dragged myself out to the hospital for another blood test for rescheduled cchemo on Monday. Pathology was closed, no explanation, nothing! Luckily the chemo unit agreed to do one but that involved a lengthy wait.
Following this I had a visit from my chospice nurse, to whom I tried to explain my sense of distress at losing two group members and who
I considered friends. And if they can die so suddenly then it can certainly happen to me. She said ‘but don’t you understand? People can be who they want to be on those sites!’ Anyone would think we were talking about a dating site! She then moved on to another favourite topic...my ‘burdening’ my eldest son with organising my funeral when I could easily do it now. My son, by the way, is not remotely worried about organising the sherry and ham baps...only joking, it’ll be better than that.
Lastly and to me quite shocking was hercoviction that my sons are getting ‘mixed messages’. On the one hand, they know I’m sick and will die yet here I am spinning around Sri Lanka and Paris. Oh the nerve! Shall I stay at home and get on with my baby blanket? No, she says but I must talk more to my sons. Now this is difficult when they don’t appear to want to talk about it...though we do sometimes indulge in grim jokes, which is our way of dealing with it all. Actually I believe the joking helps us all. My personal philosophy of death is that it can be viewed lighty enough. The uncertainty is difficult but I
not a child, I won’t have died young, my children are doing ok and it could certainly be worse
Sorry your having a crappy time of it. After your lovely trip to Paris with your brother and sil it’s such a shame to come home feeling so bad. The great thing about this site is the support of empathetic people the downside is that even though we are all strangers every death effects us as it reminds us what brings us here.
You’ve always had such a positive attitude to this vile disease but everyone is entitled to a wobble every now and then.
As you know my mum was very practical about facing death and started planning her funeral from the day she was diagnosed but surprisingly when the time came other than knowing she wanted to be buried and which undertaker to use she hadn’t actually made any firm decisions as she kept changing her mind. I suspect that she also thought it would do us all good to have to get on and be practical and we talked about it so much that I think she would have been delighted at how the day went if perhaps a little annoyed to have missed such a good send off and the 3 beautiful eulogies in church.
I accepted on day one that my mum was terminal as there’s little point in anything else but she did used to get irritated by people commenting on how well she looked so she couldn’t be that sick. I’m sure your sons understand the situation but being male probably don’t want to articulate it. Sorry for such a sexist generalisation but I do usually find that men do struggle to talk.
Nobody knows how long any of us have but the one thing I have learned is that people with such a positive attitude like yourself and my mum seem to do very well far longer than expected.
I hope your sickness clears soon and you can get back to enjoying life to the fullest. Xx
I am just shocked at the attitude of the hospice nurse and feel quite violent toward her and I’m not a violent person! It beggars belief that in her role she cannot understand that we all deal with things in a different way. There isn’t a rule that I know of that says you have to organise your own funeral to take the ‘burden’ off others. If you and your sons have reached an accommodation on the way you deal with the future then that’s your business and she has no right to suggest anything else.
Also her comments on the deaths of your two friends in the incurables group is outrageous. Of course we choose what we share here but we do that when we meet physically too! The point is we support each other. When you read this thread you see that! In this group we have been saddened to hear of the deaths of people we had got to know either directly or through friends and relatives.
And the mixed messages stuff is absolute nonsense. The way my husband and I dealt with his incurable cancer was not to talk about it. That seemed to be the way he wanted to deal with it so that’s what happened. I don’t know if life would have been better if we chatted. Instead we talked about our cats, our music our books and my need to read instructions. Funny story on that in a few days.
Thanks for sharing with us here. Hospice nurses and others who feel the need to ‘counsel’ will have different views and I mean no offence to anyone but sometimes in life we overthink things instead of just getting on. Pepys,you do the latter and just get on and we admire you for that.
Spot on squeaky xx
Many thanks for your helpful comments. By the way, I’m definitely on the up today though when my friend turned up to drive us out to Rye for lunch, I’d managed to drift off to sleep again and it was 12.30! I had to race around to get ready while she watered the garden. Now, that’s what I call a friend!
Men do often find it difficult to talk but I sort of don’t mind that as it gets me off the hook. Yes, Squeaky, I’d rather talk about books, films, my new grandchild and interesting stuff. If they had insisted, I would have talked about my funeral...mind you, if they’d insisted, I would have thought I was talking to someone else’s children....
The ex-husband is most definitely in the bad books today. He rang me this morning to suggest he cooked my dinner this evening. And forgot. Grrr...
I also just wanted to make clear I’m a fairly easy-going sort so even if someone annoys me, as my nurse did, I don’t seethe with rage for weeks. However I do wonder how others might deal with this because death is still a tricky subject. I admit I don’t feel close enough to it yet to feel its reality.
I inadvertently upset my friend over lunch by telling her something about my parents...my father had told me that my mother apparently told him she loved him just before she went away (for the last time). I had told my oldest brother about this because I found it so extraordinary. My mother never told anyone she loved them, let alone him, so I wondered if it was wishful thinking on his part. My brother was rather annoyed with me, thinking the comment cynical. My friend became quite upset, which was mortifying. I decided to keep my mouth shut for a bit and suggested a nice, bracing walk. It’s difficult when you know you’ve overstepped the mark conversationally and recently I’ve noticed my friend getting a bit tearful so I need to be careful.
Well, sleep is slow to come tonight but this is no bad thing as I’ve slept far too much recently.
So pleased to see you back and on the up Pepys hope you’re happily in the land of nod. That’s where I’m heading now goodnight one and all xx
Glad you are on the up and glad your day out was fine. Sorry your friend got upset but there is maybe something going on in her head just now which makes her sad.
I hope everyone has a good day. My house is near the woods and the crows seem to have an opinion on everything today.
Yes, I feel good this morning. I agree my friend had things on her mind. I suspect it’s me. She also started crying last week when I left a gathering early and this isn’t quite her usual behaviour.
My ex-husband has been quite perturbed by a crow setting up residence in a cupboard in his gallery outside the house, in front of the cliffs). But there’s every sort of wildlife out there, including bats.
And my friend was telling me yesterday that a family of foxes, which lives under their wooden log cabin in the garden, is busy nicking stuff. Last week it was her new sandals followed by a very expensive pair of ray bans. Ouch!! I will admit to owning a pair of Miu Mius but keep them safely indoors, away from my rogue visiting seagull!!
Hi Lady P & co. I know what cheeky buggers foxes can be. Although i live in Central London. You wouldn'b believe the amount of wildlife around. (Apart from the mad clubbers nearby). I live right in TheatreLand. One night i'd been to a local pub, right on Drury Lane. It was a crazy Saturday night, about midnight. Loads of people staggering around. When all of a sudden, i saw a fox. It just strolled across Drury Lane. Not sure, but it might have used the zebra crossing! A real city fox. Used to the mentalness of drunken humans. It knew when people have a few drinks they get hungry. It strolled on up towards Holborn. It was a moment i'll always remember. Plus. While i'm writing this, there are magpies vocalising their presence. They must have a nest nearby, as they keep nosediving a local cat that lives nearby. I can suddenly hear a load of sparrows arguing. Plus we have a cocky family of crows that have muscled in & keep threatening a family of seagulls that have been coming here every year for years. There's nothing like lying in bed with a cup of tea/coffee, a naughty little treat & seeing the birds flying overhead. Especially when you hear the seagulls. You feel you're by the sea. Lovely & relaxing. Lovely when you're warm under your duvet, with the window open & your face feels the fresh breeze wafting over. My mum loved it too. Whenever she came to stay at my place from the burbs. I'd make her a cuppa, a little treat. Then get the bed ready for her to have a nap. She started to get more tired, especially in the warmer weather. I'd plump up the pillows, pull back the duvet & leave her to relax. I loved to make her feel comfortable & loved to hear the sigh of contentment as she appreciated the summer breeze, wafting through the open windows. Simple things like that, we seem to take for granted. Moments of contentment. So glad you're feeling more on the up Lady P. You inspire people. X
Just a quickie as I’m almost asleep.
I do miss London so much as you describe it. I was born in Camden, right opposite kings cross police station. I still have a couple of relatives living nearby. There was a big Irish population there at one stage. My parents met at Mount Pleasant Hotel but my mother always hated the area. But Theatre Land...wow!
My father told me that when they were dating, they walked through a street called ‘Percy Rise’ and my mother, spitting this, quipped ‘Percy Rise. Take up your bed and walk!’
Tomorrow is my rescheduled chemo and I’m already feeling quite shattered.
When I lived in London, I saw so many foxes and also had a fox family living in my garden. But a fox strolling down Drury Lane is seriously cool!
I forgot to say my grandparents are buried in Highgate Cemetery. A friend asked me why (because they died? Sarcasm is apparently the lowest form of wit). She meant why, because they weren’t famous..I suppose in those days, perhaps even now, you got to be buried there because you were resident in the area! I went for a walk there with my son a few years ago and was so badly bitten by mosquitos in the tall grass that I ended up with cellulitis and had to take antibiotics. My doctor told me to stay away unless I wanted to join my granny early!!
Oh, you looked after your mum so beautifully that it seems you made her last months a pleasure. This is truly living in the moment, isnt it?
Hi Pepys. Wanted to say good luck for the Chemo. I know you're a 'pro' at it. I have an infusion of immuno suppresant drugs every 6 weeks at UCH in Euston. Been having treatment for over 10yrs. But i still get nervous. Still can't look at the needle going in. (Whimp). When i first started going, i had it in an old part of the building off Charlotte St. Nice big abandoned wards. Now the building's been turned into poncey flats. Plus where we have out treatment now, is in the basement of the brand new, big hospital. But they've put a load of cheap looking cubicles in it. Not sociable anymore & i feel like i'm sitting on the loo!! Plus they used to give you a cuppa & a biccie. I asked a nurse about 6/7 yrs ago if she could kindly make me a cuppa. She gave me the most evil look. (I never liked her. She was too big & had big hands, not very gentle for giving injections! Glad she left. I never ask for a cuppa anymore. They're so busy!! They also have the air conditioning on permanently. Bloody chilly!
You were born in a 'colourful' area. Right opposite King's Cross Police Station. Not anymore. I just googled it. The Police Station is now a block of flats!! Very nice Victorian. But it's so scary the Stations are closing. Sometimes i feel the scum is running the streets.
I know how interesting Highgate Cemetary is. Very prestigious to be buried there. They must be running out of space. My lovely parents are buried in a nice(?) cemetary in Enfield. This isn't something to boast about. But they filmed a few scenes in there on that 70's 'comedy' on the buses. Like i've said before. When my mum was ok, we loved wandering around old parts of London. Used to go on little walks. I had a couple of great books. Secret London & others. Lovely old alleyways, tucked away from the bloody tourists. Before she got ill, we were going to meet up & join this Vigil that's held once a month. It starts around St Paul's. People bring candles & walk to a lovely, hidden little Graveyard. It's part of a pet cemetary. It's to remember all the 'ladies of the night' from the 18th century. People read poems they've written & tie ribbons around the gates. It's become a regular thing. My mum was interested in going. Then she got so weak. Didn't bother with Central London. I knew she was seriously ill. As she loved going 'up to town'. When she abandoned it. I was scared!! Anyway. I really am rambling. Good luck Pepys & to everyone that's having 'stuff' done. Good luck. X
Hi pepys. Again. I just wanted to say my mum & i loved proper old boozers. Not gastro pubs! There's a lovely slightly shabby pub in a hidden part of King's Cross. MCGLYNN'S. I took her to it. It's in Whidborne St. Set on a lovely unexpected corner. Lovely old buildings surrounding it. Plus a lovely, lively cat lives in the pub. Loads of regulars go there. So not that many tourists. We both loved it. I wondered if you knew that part of King's Cross. Plus round the corner, there's an old pub called the Boot. There's a sweet little video with Kenneth Williams. His parents lived around there.. The Boot was opposite their flat. They used to wheel their piano into the boozer & have a little sing song. Then wheel it back again. Sounded great. Not anymore. Probably health & safety! Anyway. Night. Again! X
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