I got a shock when Claire casually mentioned over breakfast that it was 7 years since my Mum died.
In late November 2007 Mum was as good as she had been for several years. The endless worrying that had made her life so miserable had almost disappeared and although she was a long, long way from the person Claire and I had known before the onset of her dementia our twice weekly visits were not too much of a burden.
On 6th December Mum had a fall and she cracked her pelvis. From then on she went steadily downhill. The last time we were able to have a sensible conversation with her was on 13th December. She knew, just about, who we both were and we persuaded her to sign some Christmas cards.
By 14th December she was talking gibberish and by the 18th she was partially incontinent and very frightened. It was quite distressing seeing her in this state. I visited her again on Christmas Day and it was obvious that she was dying. Her brain was closing down and she was rambling on about her teenaged years.
By the 27th December Mum couldn't speak and Claire and I were not at all convinced that she could see. Later that day she was transferred to hospital and she died there on the 29th. Claire and I with her when she died - the actual death was un-dramatic, her breathing just slowed down and then stopped.
Her funeral didn't take place until January 11th 2008. It was very disappointing that nobody from Harpenden felt able to make the 1 hour trip to attend. Mum had been very active in the local community over several decades and I felt rather upset by the collective indifference of her former friends and neighbours.
Keith Gould, above all, should feel ashamed. Mum and Dad gave him a lot of support over several years when he was widowed but when my brother Stephen phoned him with the sad news of Mum's death Keith couldn't have been less interested.