Just 13 days after the fateful phone call, the old grey goose – aka my mother-in-law – passed away.
As I texted a work colleague:
Thanks a lot, we’re all in good shape. Kids are getting there and Eleanor and me feel grateful we all saw her fully alive the other weekend and that she’s subsequently gone so quickly and gently. A decade too soon; but how you’d want to go if you had aggressive cancer: I’ll be in and just fine tomorrow. The old grey goose has flown off to her final peaceful resting place. It’s all good.
As I wrote to her after we saw the weekend before last:
Dear Hilary – as you said as we left your room today, there is so much I also want to say; but your energy is precious and I don’t want to take more of it than I should.
I just wanted to tell you – as I said to Eleanor in the car – that you looked very beautiful today; you had a kind of luminousity, your hair is lovely and the warmth and light you have brought to all our lives shone out from you and touched us all very deeply despite the pain and weakness in your body.
We will all remember this weekend very positively; I am so very glad we came.
I had a good old cry after sending it – something the kids have never seen before; but I think made us feel better.
She was a wonderful woman with a central place at the heart of all our lives.
All too quick; but I think it’s what she wanted – the old grey goose valued her independence more than anything, and never wanted to be a burden. She is at rest.