Preparing for Spain…

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a bar with one of my best friends and I don’t know how it all came about, but we started to talking about my Mum. On December 4th she will have died 3 years ago to the day. Half of me can’t believe that length of time has passed and the other half of me still thinks it’s some kind of cruel joke.

I ended up showing my friend some photos of the views from my Mums beautiful Spanish home and she recognised what my Mum called “Sallys Mountain”. Apparently, her Mum owns an apartment not far from where my Mum lived and coincidentally, where she is now interned.

Through talking about the beautiful La Campenata, through remembering good times and sad, my friend had an idea. One of her crazy, impulsive, wouldn’t-change-her-for-the-world ideas. “Why don’t we go!” she said to me and if I am honest, the rest of the conversation is a blur of excitement and tears, disbelief and more tears because…we leave to fly over on December 3rd. It turns out, however, fate would have it, I’ll be visiting my Mums tomb {the Spanish don’t bury the dead, they put them into stone tombs built into walls} on, strangely, the anniversary of the day she died.

I mean, I am excited to be going over, but I’m filled with mixed emotions. I think I’ve yet to process, fully, my Mothers death. She passed away in Spain due to multi-system organ failure; following a ruptured colon that she mistook for a previous back injury. I recall frantic phone calls to the hospital she’d been taken to in Spain, and the language barrier was a very frustrating, but when she finally got admitted I was able to speak to her on the phone. She was as high as a kite on whatever medication they had her on for the pain, but she knew who I was. Little did I know {at the time} that would be the last time I heard her voice.


The next 48hrs were a haze of calling the hospital for updates and being informed that following her partial colonoscopy the morning after she was admitted, she came out of surgery on life support. Due to the length of time, her ruptured colon went untreated {due to her assuming it was something else}.…she had developed sepsis. I remember a Doctor {who didn’t have the greatest use of English} telling me that I needed to get to her bedside. I thought due to the language barrier he was perhaps overdramatising things? But, the reality was, it was bad. She continued to deteriorate and frustratingly the only flight I could get was for 5pm December 4th, 2013 and as a cruel twist of fate would have it; my flight departed the runway 17hrs after my Mother passed away.

I cannot tell you how painful that journey was, knowing that I’d missed it. Knowing that I wasn’t there to hold her hand as she slipped away and if I’m honest, it crushed me. Although, a portion of me went into overdrive to ‘deal with it’, because who would want a sobbing woman on a 2hr flight to Alicante. The oddest moment, however, wasn’t the flight over, nor was it being picked up at the airport and even though driving passed the place where her body was being held was an indescribable feeling, the oddest part was yet to come. 

Walking into her home was the strangest part for me. Seeing where she had left her dressing gown, her slippers, seeing her handbag that more than likely held her precious bingo markers in and Nivea hand cream. Two things she was never without. It felt wrong her not being there. She was 54yrs old. 54…

I remember wrapping myself up in her dressing gown and crawling into her bed. I remember finding it hard to fall asleep because somehow being in her dressing gown, in her bed, with her not there…was just all too much for me to process. Those same unable-to-process feelings still remain today.

So, yes, going back is going to be emotional, and weird, I’ll most likely shed a few million tears but I hope to have a good time there too. My Mum liked to have a good time. I’d love to see her home, take the walk we used to go on with her dog, Sandy, when I used to visit and I’ll even {hopefully} visit her favourite Bar Lutena to give her a toast.

So I guess I’ll round off this post by saying…

….Spain, here I come! 



  1. tric kearney
    30/11/2016 / 9:27 AM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a mum is so hard and the circumstances for you must be very hard to recover from.
    My closest friend lost her 13 year old boy three years ago yesterday so I fully appreciate how short a time three years is.
    I’m sure returning will be hard and there will be a lot of tears but I sometimes think that those times when we have time to sit and cry are the times we are closest to those we loved.
    I hope you feel your mum close on your trip and can find a little sunshine among your tears.

  2. 02/12/2016 / 9:56 PM

    Oh my I am so sorry for your loss, I hope that you find some peace in Spain x

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