I got up and drove the two miles to St Christopher’s Hospice getting there at about 9.15am expecting the usual day of sitting with mum interspersed with tea in the Hospice’s garden. The nurse told me that mum had been a bit distressed in the night and so they had given her some more drugs to help. Mum was being sick so they called the doctor (Nick) and he prescribed some different drugs and the nurses changed mum’s position and within 2o minutes or so and mum was much more calm.
It was clear by mum’s breathing that she didn’t have long and so I called Karen and she alerted Steve, my brother, who came along. So from about 11.30 until 2 o’clock (ish) Steve and I sat with mum holding her hand and chatting. At about 1.50 a nurse brought in a card from Aunty Sheila – mums younger (85!) sister who lives on the Isle of Mann. As Steve read it to mum and I held her hand she quietly – almost imperceptibly – stopped breathing and left us.
After a minute we called a nurse and she confirmed mum had gone. Steve went to pick up dad while the nurses made mum presentable. They did a great job – even taking some of the flowers friends had brought and making a simple little posy and placing that by mum’s face. Then dad and Steve said their goodbyes and Steve took dad home. Once they went I said my goodbye and – as all Mansell’s do – went downstairs and had a large cup of tea and balled my eyes out.
Muriel “Jean” Mansell, January 3rd 1928: August 4th 2014. My mum.