I went to visit Mum today. I was not looking forward to it but felt it would be a good thing to do. I remembered visiting ’ö-Dzin’s Mum and finding it comforting seeing how peaceful she looked lying in her coffin. Mum had not looked entirely peaceful on the actual day of her death.
So I walked into Whitchurch village and visited Mum. It was okay. She did look peaceful – and nothing like my Mum. I think it is good to actually see that the body is a shell. It is good to recognise that the consciousness that animated the body and made it into a living, vivid being has departed. Mum was not there.
I practised for her for a while and said my goodbyes. I shall not visit her again. There is no more to say. I will continue bardo practice for her for the 49 days. I will cry at her funeral. And then that will be the end, apart from memories – and they can be joyous remembering the vivid person that she was rather than the shadow she became.
This week has been a gentle winding down. I have gradually felt less exhausted as the week has progressed. Soon it will be time to discover life-without-Mum; life without watching my mother die, slowly, inch by inch, day by day. It has been a gruelling year seeing her losing ground and slipping away.