Carolyn rang me just after lunchtime with the news that her Mum had died just before 3 o'clock this afternoon (eastern standard time).
All of the family were gathered around her and she passed away peacefully, surrounded by the love of her husband of 61 years and four of her children.
Carolyn said there had been a strong feeling amongst them that today would be the day and they share a feeling of relief that the difficult journey has finally ended and Mary is at peace.
Right near the end despite being unconscious for the last couple of days they heard her say "Alan". Carolyn took the boys outside and left Alan and Mary alone for the final minutes of her life so he could say his goodbyes in private and when they returned he said "I think she's stopped breathing" and sure enough, she was gone. Carolyn feels very grateful to have been there these last couple of weeks and says there has been a tremendous amount of love and closeness between them all and that she has been amazed at the qualities she has seen in her brothers and her Dad throughout. At the end Alan gave each of his children a long hug and told them he loved them.
I was in the gallery when Carolyn rang and had tears streaming down my face as she told me everything that had happened. The two ladies who came in to look at my art must have wondered what was going on.
I broke the news to the kids when I got back from the afternoon bus run. Zac and Sophie were anticipating it and took it calmly but Paulie broke down and hugged me for a long time; then he started praying which was very touching. Sophie shed some tears later as we talked about the feasibility of going to the funeral, expressing regret that she hadn't been able to start her trip yet and had missed out on seeing Granny before she died.
Jordan has gone to Perth for the weekend so I had let him know by phone.
Mother Mary was a lovely, funny, bright-eyed caring lady and a wonderful mother, wife and Granny. We will all miss her.May she rest in peace and may there be rejoicing in heaven as she enters the place prepared for her by her Lord and Saviour.