So how does a mother say goodbye to her children? How do I communicate my love, my joy and the fact that I really do always want to be there to my children? I have been thinking about this all week, about how to start.
I have started boxes. The girls call them the 'depressing boxes' and they contain letters, photographs, poems, cards, pictures and drawings that they have made through the years. I am a hoarder: I can't throw anything away at all. What a blessing all that clutter is! I haven't been able to approach the letter writing though. That all seems unnecessary at the moment although when I am with them, I find that I am mentally squirrelling memories away ready to draw out of my pocket for my daughters.
I can tell the news is really sinking into my psyche now for I no longer cry when I think of myself going and my children being left alone. I am, of course, still scared, still terrified of their future without a mother, a future without me but I can also look forward and start finding those arms of others who will comfort them when they need a hug, whose ears will soak up stress, whose fingers will wipe away tears.
Mortality is frightening and, to be honest, I have always been afraid of dying and whatever death holds. As a teenager, I used to wake up crying, feeling the coffin around my body and imagining what wood would feel like against my skin. I would terrify myself so much I had to sleep with the light on, or even just read, late into the night rather than face the fear.
So this tussle with death is actually almost a good thing. It is forcing me to face my deepest darkest fear of all, and with that the terror of not seeing my children grow up. Beside that fear, death itself has become just a niggle, a bit of stress around the edges.
Strange how once faced with a terminal diagnosis, people are ready to discuss issues like death and mortality which normally they shy away from as one of the ultimate taboos. I can freely express my fears and my worries to those around me and they take it all, they listen and they reply in freedom. For that, I thank you all. It helps me so much to talk about it, to prepare for my passing and to make sure that the three most important people in my life will be well loved, supported and cared for.
Of course, that is only once I am gone and this lady ain't going nowhere for quite a while...