Saturday, April 30, 2016


My mum died yesterday.

It was eighteen months coming, so no surprise, but obviously it still aches.

I got a call from the Care Home at 2.50am, peacefully, in her sleep.

I waited until dawn and started telephoning relatives. I was still in my dressing gown at the kitchen table when looked-after child A suddenly appeared. Just as I was saying to a cousin into the phone; "Sad news I'm afraid, mum passed away this morning..."

I saw the expression on the child's face. It fell. He stopped in his tracks.

I finished the call and found him. He'd shot off into the living room. Didn't quite know how to behave towards me. It was mutual, I was stuck for words.

Hanging over both of us was the question of how tender we should be with each other over a death in the foster parent's family.

Another fostering thing. Another one of those ones where the best you can hope for is not getting it too wrong.

Obviously it all depends on what the child's relationship is with the deceased; in this case he had asked to call her "Gran" because neither of his grans were in his life and it must have felt nice to him. But he'd only met her a few times, so it wasn't a deep thing.

Also it depends on the carer's relationship with the foster child. In this instance, due to my natural sentimentality, I put out a greater degree of attachment (warmth, dammit)  than the child is able to reciprocate yet, but we're going in the right direction. 

Then there's the unanswerable questions from children of what is death, what happens to the dead...when am I going to die and how? I go with the Heaven thing for as long as possible and even though it's a big one to swallow I go on saying "You never know, we might all end up together again as angels".

Because, well, you never know.

I said to him:

"I think you just heard me saying, my mum died this morning."

"Yeah" came the reply, followed by "But I didn't really know her well enough to feel anything."

Which was probably on the button.

The stupid in me hoped he'd say something kindly, the fact that he didn't was almost certainly down to his not having a handle on the moment; I didn't have a handle on it myself.

It was just something else to try to manage when there was plenty else going on in my head.


  1. I'm so very sorry to read of your sad news. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to you and your family. May the good Lord offer you comfort at this time. Take care.

  2. Oh SFC, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you huge amounts of love and virtual hugs. Wish I could be on hand for you in real life, I hope you have practical support around you too. Take care of yourself and don't worry if you can't blog for a bit, we will all understand xx

  3. My thoughts are with you at a sad time with the loss of your Mum. I enjoy reading your blog and know from the warmth, kindness and love that you pour into all your children that you most likely had an amazing Mum who modeled that love for you. I wish you some time and space for grief and a chance to see how your Mum's legacy lives on inside you. -Roma

  4. So sorry for your loss.
    Make sure you take some time for yourself and take care.

    1. Thank you all for your kindness. It took me a week to get round to putting pen to paper either to reply to letters of condolence or to acknowledge your thoughtful comments, forgive me.