My wife has died. Here's a little note I am distributing in the parish this w/e.
RE: Margaret McMahon RIP : 18.07.1960 – 15.01.2013.
I just wanted to write a short note to you, following the unexpected death of my wife Margaret. I know this is what she would have expected of me. Margaret had been in hospital during the early part of December to drain fluid from her lungs, that had built up as a result of the cancer and its treatment. During the following week at home she was very sleepy and not her usual self. On the Sunday afternoon she had a massive seizure and was taken to St George’s hospital. The cancer had spread to the brain and caused acute swelling. She was again admitted to hospital. I am pleased that Fr Colin visited her in hospital before she came home and anointed her. Margaret was then discharged several days later, with further medication to take and appointments at the Royal Marsden hospital for five days of whole brain radiation therapy. However, Margaret deteriorated progressively over the week and I was unable to properly care for her at home, because her physical needs were so great. She was unable to speak and communicate and care for herself. I contacted Trinity hospice in Clapham, who took her into their care on Monday 14th January. They told me not to expect her home again. They made her very comfortable and we were able to visit her in the early evening and celebrate Vespers at her bedside. All her family spoke to her, including her mother. I was the last member of the family to speak to her before she died, when I told her how much I loved her. She had her eyes open a little, so would have heard me. She died in her sleep just after midnight on Tuesday 15th January, as a result of further traumatic complications. The hospice called me to tell me that she had died. I drove there about 2am. That was a lonely drive. I prayed the ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’ of the rosary at Margaret’s bedside, blessed her body and talked to her again as if she was still with me.
I want to thank everyone who has offered practical support to me and my family during Margaret’s illness and since her death. I really mean that. It does not go forgotten, especially by our loving Father God, who sees and knows all. And the same for friends on Facebook, Twitter and whoever comes to the blog.
Margaret was a woman of faith, who was proud to be a Catholic and was instrumental in God calling me to ordained ministry. She is my role model for what service looks like and maybe for some of you as well. I give thanks to God for nearly 28 years with her, for the wonderful vocation of marriage we shared together and how it was blessed by our children, Bernie and Daniel. Neither of us was without our failings, though I’m sure I annoyed her more than she did me from time to time. Margaret has served her purgatory on this earth, as result of being married to me!