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Torn in Extremes

This is one of the hardest posts I have ever written, as the inevitable has happened, and my irreplaceable mother has passed away.

So much of my being is locked in her. The one living person who has consistently been there for all of my life. The source of my often psychotic only child syndrome. The first exposure and encouragement of my creative gifts. Often bizarre in her own way, yet all motivated with a fierce loyalty and love.

Last year much of my creative and professional energy was spent trying to express my ongoing impending grief at her failing health. She was so proud of this work, and what I had become.

I was going to attach one of the final, intimate black and white portraits I took of her as a pictorial tribute to her expressing the almost all-consuming sadness of those final days. She is clinging to my teddy bear, which she gave to me all those years ago. But I chose not to – instead I want her remembered and recorded in her true state: full of life, vim and vigour. Confident in whom she is, marching to her own beat, no-one else’s.

I was present as she took her final breath; it was so peaceful and gentle.

It may be funny thing to say at this time, but I rejoice in sharing those final moments – as I was able to do with my father and our son; I rejoice at her coming to a faith in God & Christ; I rejoice at all the years we had together; I rejoice that she helped form whom I am.

Mum, you did good.Rita Chidzey 1921-2015 (c.1940s)

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