Both gone now - but I'll always think of them like this
The moment we had been dreading finally arrived on Sunday 25th July - when the hospital gave us an early morning call advising I should come over.
Mum remained sleeping and peaceful with four close family members by her bedside. And a few hours later when the final silence started to settle - the sun shone and mum's youngest sister and a niece held her hands as she slipped softly away in my arms.
I can't tell you what a comfort being there has been for me - knowing mum wasn't suffering, scared or alone in those closing moments. That she was sent gently on her way with kisses and a whispered 'Night, night' and 'God bless' - the same phrases she soothed me to sleep with so many times as a child.
The Beatles - Golden Slumbers
We're ok and getting by at the moment. A bustle and swirl of phone calls, visits and arrangements to make have been keeping us occupied. Just over a month ago, the plan for this week had been to take mum away to Southwold for some sun, sea and a change of scenery. None of us expected to be arranging her funeral instead.
The final goodbye takes place on Thursday, and it's after this I expect the slump will really set in. All those hidden triggers for tears and heartbreak - seeing her handwriting, finding old pictures and bits in the loft, forgotten songs on the radio, questions I'll go to ask that will stay unanswered. The one-sided silence and a deep sense of loss and emptiness.
It was the same when Dad died nine years ago, although dad's death was so quick and unexpected - just two hours after being rushed into hospital, it left us reeling for years. But, eventually we found calm, comfort and a new normality. In some ways you never get over these things - you just get used to not getting over them.
I never got say goodbye to dad, so I'll play something from The Faces in his memory.
The Faces - Debris