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Friday, December 16th, a raw damp day, but plenty of light in the sky. It was snowing outside my window earlier, but it's not really cold enough for snow down here.

My mother died, early on Tuesday morning. Not unexpected, I've known since August she was on her way out: no dramatic change, when someone is dying of the plain system-failures of old age, but unmistakeable. But you know it's coming, you wait for the call then you forget to wait, and then it comes.

So, Tuesday morning I made the last of those train journeys, and joined my brother who'd driven up from London through the very wild weather of that night, and been at her bedside. By Wednesday afternoon it was all over bar the funeral, and we were clearing out her room, at the end-of-life place where she'd spent the last few weeks. David went to rustle up some more boxes, I looked out on the grounds from her window, at the beautiful towering bare beeches we'd hoped she might live to see in bud or leaf. It was snowing: a black cat scampered for cover, a big dog fox trotted slowly, from shrubbery to shrubbery across the icy drenched grass. Thinking, so this is it. She's free at last, and so am I. What on earth am I going to do with myself?

I'm sure I'll think of something.

Mary Rita Jones (Dugdale) 16.12.1920-13.12.2011 RIP

& this will be the last entry, for a while.


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Anni Dugdale on :

Thank you for your thoughts on Rita's death. We here in Australia have been thinking of her and of you and all her family. Even knowing this is what she wanted and that she had been looking for this day for some time there is still a sadness with the relief that must also be there for you. You and your mum will be in our thoughts this Christmas as we are camping on Mt Buffalo a cooler spot to pass the summer days. I am glad I was able to visit your mum in the last 2 years and trust she is now at peace. Love to you all and peace be with you,

Sal on :

My sympathies for your loss. I know that even when it's expected, death still leaves a gaping hole with jagged edges.

Best wishes,


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