Monday, March 01, 2010

My Mum: 1919 to 2010

After two months in North York General Hospital, my mother Dorothy Fulford passed away in palliative care there last week. Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer knows what an excruciating and heart-wrenching process it is to watch them go downhill. But mixed in with the sadness is a feeling of relief that they no longer have to suffer.
Up until last fall, Mum was still driving, making fabulous desserts, hosting dinner parties, attending her book club, volunteering and shopping for new outfits. Even though she was in her 91st year, she still had lots of life left in her and was aware of us all up until her final moments.
Mum deserved a quick, uncomplicated passing after celebrating with everyone who loved her at a gigantic party. She didn’t get that of course, but at least we were all able to say goodbye to her before she went and to hold her close.
John took this picture of Mum enjoying herself in September of 2008 and I think it captures her perpetually sunny nature and love of life perfectly.


MarissaDW said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Thinking of you.

Irene said...

Dearest Susan: I'm so very sorry that your mom was so ill, and hear of her passing. Please accept my most sincere sympathy.

martha brown said...

I am so sorry Susan. Thanks for sharing a picture -- you have her beautiful smile. I'm thinking of you...

La Dolce Vita said...

oh, Susan, what a beautiful Mum! My heart goes out to you and I will be thinking of you and sending you love. It sounds like she led a great life, and took many rich memories with her. My thoughts though are with you. xoxox cat

me again said...

Susan, I'm so, so sorry. I've been thinking of you a lot over the last few days and now I know why. Your mum was lovely and I see that you resemble her so strongly. Big hugs to you across the miles.

Godelieve said...

Sorry for your loss Susan!
Looks like she enjoyed life very much. So I can imagine that she left you lots of great memories.
Wishing you strenght...

azirca said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family at this time.
What a beautiful photo of your Mum, such a warm and gentle face that radiates the sunny nature that you speak of.

Ronna said...

Susan: I was so sorry to hear about your mom's passing. She sounded like a fantastic human being who lived her lif to the fullest. Thinking of you in this difficult time.

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Susan, Thanks for sharing with us. Here picture is beautiful. I am sorry to hear of your lose. What a wonderfully active Mom she was. I am thinking of you.

beenebag said...


I am so sorry to hear about your mom's passing. It's so hard to get your head, let alone your heart, around them not being here anymore. But as long as you keep memories of her in your heart she'll always be there for you. She had such a beautiful smile.

I've always found this passage from In Lieu of Flowers: A Conversation for the Living by Nancy Cobb comforting. I hope it helps in some small way:

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you. Whatever we
were to each other, that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name;
speak to me in the easy way you always used.

Wear no forced air of solemnity
or sorrow. Laugh at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the
household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of shadow in it.

Life means all that it ever meant...
there is absolutely unbroken continuity. I am waiting for you — somewhere near just around the corner.

All is well.


take care

Jeanne said...

Susan, you know how I feel about you. Though much is taken, much remains.

"Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!"


Love, JK

Lisa PN said...

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. I send you love and light.
big hugs,

Ganga Fondan said...

Hello Susan,

I know that letting go is a daily exercise of trust and courage. This mystery of life and afterlife both lifts and pains us all at once sometimes. But I do know with certainty in my heart that it is all one precious enormous gift to bring us closer to the true meaning of unconditional love.


Sharon said...

Oh Susan, I'm so terribly sorry for your mother's passing. It's hard to believe that a person so full of life eventually will come to leave us behind. I hope the comfort of family and friends will ease your sorrow and that you will remember only your happy moments together.

A bird in the hand said...

My deepest condolences, dear friend. From someone who knows. thinking of you. xoxoxo

Suze said...

Susan, I lost my mom at age, you and I have high hopes for a long life I think. Your mother was just a gorgeous looking lady and I am sorry she had to pass from an illness. Your blogging about her is just wonderful and she would have felt proud.
You have all my heartfelt condolences.

juneh said...


I just found out...I am so sorry to hear this! I know how tough this is, no matter what the age. My heart and thoughts are with you and your family during your time of sorrow...

Sandy Michelle said...

What a lovely tribute to your mom! Hang in there sweetie!


kelly@the blue muse said...

Oh Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. It is a lovely photo of her, and it sounds like she was a wonderful woman. You will be in my thoughts...

dydianayee said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. I'm so honored to have had the opportunity to have met your family last year. You have your mom's wonderful smile! My father also left after a difficult fight with cancer. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kristeena Crabb said...

Susan, I'm so sorry to learn of your mother's passing and I wish you well as your heart heals. Thanks for sharing this; she sounds like she was such a wonderful person.

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