A Visit to Aunt Before Christmas

I’ll try taking a picture of her tomorrow and you’ll see her smile is just the same, but I thought I could see the skull beneath the skin before, yet when I first saw her today I was shocked.


Hours in her company have done their work and now I see she’s still Aunt, but I do wonder how much longer she can continue like this. She’s wrapped in layers of warm clothing, the central heating supplemented by a clever Dyson machine her friend gave her. I brought various fruit juices for her to try. The anti sickness tablets are helping her to keep food down, but as she explained, she isn’t much interested in eating or drinking. I think she’s shutting down. Certainly she is sleeping much more, and her mind is not so clear. She is forgetful, muddled. But that doesn’t stop her being independent.


Maybe my opinion will change tomorrow, but tonight I am wondering if this is the last time I shall see her. A good friend of hers who is also frail will spend Christmas Day with her. There will be visits from members of her church who have stayed loyal to her over these months when she has been unable to attend. She hasn’t written any cards, and she hasn’t put up the ones she has received.

I have to keep leaving the flat to cool down, but after a time the headache that started hovering shortly after my arrival settled on my eyebrows and now I am downstairs in the deserted lounge hoping the guest room, where I have turned the heating turned off and opened the window, will soon be cool enough for sleep.


It seems ridiculous that Aunt’s hot flat should bother me so, and I don’t know how to deal with it. I choose a seat by the window, furthest from the heaters, I drink water, but my skin quickly feels red and uncomfortable, my eyes dry. Aunt worries that I am cold. She offers me the electric hot water bottle I gave her last year. I feel I am running away from her when there is so little time left.

Meanwhile MasterB is at home. Rebecca and Edwin are looking after him. Or at least I hope they are. I’d feel a lot happier if they sent me a text saying how he is.

12 thoughts on “A Visit to Aunt Before Christmas

  1. I want to say that this is the way we should all pass on. Not easy for you but far more in connection with life and death than a hospital bed can offer for her. And Aunt is good with it. Perhaps that freedom of choice makes it harder for those of us who will living on to accept. But before I haul out Barber’s Adagio for Strings for a good cry, the very best of wishes to you and to Aunt.

    • Yes I think you are right, and she doesn’t fear death. I think she would welcome it now were it not for a Uncle Bill.

      We were looking online at sheepskin heel covers to prevent her from developing pressure sores. I shall contact her specialist nurse. Time was these would have been supplied by the NHS, but the cuts are so savage preventative measures are starved of funds.

      Maybe the nurse can at least recommend where we should get them.

  2. I don’t handle heat well either Isobel and CH is always sitting around with layers of clothing on trying to stay warm while I have the heat turned down to 68.

    Breaks my heart about Aunt but I am so happy she has you. Thinking of you. Hope you hear from MasterB’s sitters. Love his Instagram today.

    • We’ll you have hate Aunt’s flat. I have to leave and go outside at regular intervals so as not to pass out. It is suffocatingly hot. Real headache inducing stuff.

  3. Thinking of you and Aunt, Isobel. Such a difficult time for you. Hope you survive the heat and that Master B is being well looked after. I’m sure you and Aunt will both cherish this time together.

    • Aunt knows she’s dying. I know she’s dying. In films, this would mean big and dramatic, or quiet and intensely meaningful conversations. We just have the same conversations as usual.
      Is that odd?

  4. I can’t bear being hot especially in a bedroom. Always blamed the menopause but it is ME. Hugs to you both at this time and drama can be left for the cinema!

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