Friday, 17 November 2017

Mums Passing

This year has been the worst year in my life. In February my mother passed away from a drug overdose in her unit in Carlton, Victoria. I was notified by police the day after she was found. During this time, my family and my sister didn't involve me and my brother in the plans for her funeral and when my mothers cousin notified us both that Mum was to be cremated my brother and I were so angry. We could never agree to that knowing what we knew about Mum and her fear of fire. It was so hard to fathom how my sister, a drug addict and my Aunt, who had a life intervention order on my mother and hadn't spoken to her in over 20 years could burn her when it was totally against who she was. I struggle to this day to understand this. Long story short, Mum was cremated in Traralgon on the 16th of March 19 days after she passed away. My sister agreed to have an autopsy; which I think was unnecessary as it was quite clearly an overdose and when I received a copy of the coroners report and found out more than what I needed to know about my Mum. It was painful. My brother and I met with police in Melbourne to write a eulogy about Mums life. That was Hard too. But the hardest of all was going to Mum's unit. It took so much strength just to walk through the door for me. It was a small one bedroom unit with two small windows. It was hot and muggy and full of what was left of my mother. The first thing I noticed as I walked in was her coat rack. Full of the most outrages coat. It made me smile. To the right was her bathroom/ laundry and it was very cluttered with clothes, buckets and cleaning/beauty products. I looked up to find that I was looking at a mirror that my mother would have used to reflect herself every day and that again made me emotional. I broke down and my brother caught me. I pulled myself together and skipped what I saw to be her bedroom. I went through to the lounge room and my Mum seemed to love Aloe Vera. In her lounge room were two arm chairs, a bean bag, a small tv unit, a side cupboard, a toy box and a round table just to the left with three large Aloe Vera plants and a few small succulents. My Mum must have tended to them daily to grow so large. Another thing I noticed and sort of frowned upon was the graffiti on her wall. In the moment I was embarrassed I guess. The man who accompanied us through the unit didn't seem surprised or shocked so I guessed he must have seen it all before. For me it was like my Mum who once taught me to respect people and property didn't uphold that in her final months of life. I turned around and on her kitchen table were make up, a few different jewelrey holders which hung second hand jewelry, mirrors, ash trays, lotions, knick knacks, lighters etc. 

These are some photos from Mums unit.

Mum's bedroom was by far the hardest. I left that until last. Mum was found in her bedroom and treated by ambulance beside her bed so everything she was wearing was still there on the floor as I walked in. The Jewelry and her size 6 (Yes! She was a size 6) shorts she had worn were the most signification. I just cried. 

The man who was with us left soon after and my brother and I had to go through the unit for anything of importance. I placed her jewelry, make up and beauty products in her handbag as they were the most sentimental for me and the kids. As I looked around I was just thinking about what each of the kids would have liked to have. I found Essendon Memorabilia and so grabbed that for Jeanette and I found salt rocks which Jie still keeps beside his bed today. I grabbed a few blankets, her perfume, some books/paperwork and Mums diary's. 

Sister (right) Mum (left)
Mum didn't have much, but through reading her diarys and notebooks she shared her heart and her home with others who lived just as rough as she did. Other street people would pop in and sketch things and write on her wall or fridge. So while at first I saw her wall as being embarrassing I guess it bought comfort to Mum and showed me that she was happy. Living her life with friends, listening to Madonna and having a good time. 

To understand more about my Mum and my relationship please read here.. or write "Mum" in the search bar in the top left hand corner of this page.

Although I still find myself crying in the car when hearing a song that reminds me of her, or when I smell her scent, Mum always told us that she would die with a needle in her arm. 
And she did..

And I have come to accept that it was her choice, and that's okay.

I just wish I had more time with her.

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