Today it happened. The news one dreads. Mum has died. It seems it was a heart attack during her sleep, probably painless, the best way to go. But it's a huge shock nonetheless. She was 84, but I really thought she'd make 90. She was still strong, positive, independent, adventurous, up for life. Can't believe it.
Andrew, Mary and Patrick are in Chichester, dealing with it all. And here I am in Bangkok, 8,000 miles away, in a bit of a daze, keeping to the schedule we'd set for ourselves - seeing friends, shopping, dropping the children off at playdates... I even had a game of squash, as planned with David L. Feel useless, tearful but trying to be strong for the girls.
Of course, I'm happy that she made it to China - just two months ago. She was so positive about coming and so up for it while here. Really, she had the energy and independence of someone half her age. And I'm so glad that something made me put that photo book together and send it to her in November rather than save it for Christmas. And she loved it.
I can't bring myself to reflect on her life right now, just too painful. It's going to be a tough week or so ahead...