The 23rd October started ordinarily enough, I didn't see mum that morning. According to Dad at breakfast she was "not at all well" she'd normally not get up till after I'd left for work at 7.30am but I didn't even see the usual sight of her waving me goodbye.
The morning at work passed without incident then the afternoon began, I ate lunch then began work as normal then at 1306 suddenly noticed a missed call on my phone. My first thought was Dad calling to say mum had been rushed to hospital.
I headed for the lift as our building hates mobile phone signals so the top floor was best in order to ring dad back. At first I couldn't get through and kept getting a recorded message about the line being busy, then I got through and heard the horrible news my mum Daphne Drury had died little more than an hour ago.
I rapidly managed to find one of my bosses and Kate another work colleague offered to to drive me home, thankfully she owns an estate car so there was room for my bike too.
When I arrived home Dad related the events of the morning, concerned about Mum's health he'd rung our GP whose main advice at this point was that she have something to eat so he made some toast and cut it into small slices. She'd eaten this and he'd asked if she wanted a drink and he made them both a coffee, she sipped at the coffee though still not herself otherwise seemed fine as she even asked him to ring a friend as she'd not be able to go the church flower arranging group this week. Then suddenly she was gasping for air and couldn't breathe, dad is retired electrical engineer so knows artificial respiration well, he also at this point rang the GP again who immediacy told him to call the emergency services. So he hung up and dialled 999, the ambulance arrived in just five minutes and the paramedics took over trying to revive mum. They worked on her for an hour but there was nothing they could do.
After I arrived home the afternoon seemed to go on forever with a steady stream of officialdom, the paramedics were not allowed to leave until the police arrived in the shape of a friendly WPC who slowly but carefully took us through the sudden death paperwork. Whilst she was here the undertakers showed up, a local firm hired by the police to take Mum's body to the local morge. They managed to remove Mum's jewellery and left quietly with her body whilst the lengthy task of the paperwork continued. Finally the WPC had finished, packed up her computer and left and I felt able to cry, not a big blub but it was an emotional release.
Everything as I write this still feels so up in the air, Mum's body is currently in the hands of the coroner's office. Having died on a Friday we can't ring them till tomorrow(Monday) to find out what's happening next, the funeral directors left dad with a booklet full of information to help with planning the ceremony all I know so far is that it will be held at St. Andrew's Church Chesterton where dad has been singing in the choir for several years and both him mum have helped the church in other ways such as mum being in the flower group for a long time.
As a postscript to the above back in 1994 it had been preying on Mum’s mind that the local war memorial at church didn’t contain a list of the fallen. So almost single handedly with the help of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission she compiled the list and raised the funds necessary to create the nameplate for future generations. It says a lot about mum that apart from some local media coverage at the time she’s received little credit for this as far as she was concerned it was just something that needed to be done.
An old one of mum taken at a dinner party a few years ago, as you might be able to tell she wasn't a big fan of having her photo taken.
The local war memorial at St. Andrew's Church Chesterton, name plate researched, fund raised for and organised by my mum.