Thank you so much for all of your comments on the previous post. I’m sorry for not replying individually as I normally would but be assured each one has meant a lot to me, as have all the separate emails I’ve received.

Mum passed away peacefully on Friday evening. It’s been a strange weekend. With little that could be done in terms of arrangements it was an interlude that felt almost normal in a surreal sort of way. The angst of waiting for the inevitable lifted, we went for a walk. Mike pressure washed the greenhouse inside and out (it’s now sparkling) and I launched forth into battle with the crocosmias (again). It’s back to reality now. There is the funeral to arrange and the awful job of having to sort through Mum’s things.

Here are just a few photographs from our walk, on a day when the sky seemed to be full of rainbows. I noticed exactly the same thing when my father died 20 years ago. Spooky huh?




Big dramatic skies..






2018-04-22T19:04:03+00:00October 14th, 2014|Tags: |


  1. rabbitquilter October 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    So very sorry to hear your sad news. A lovely walk though, and beautiful colours of sky and sea. It was meant, especially for you. I find rainbows and white feathers that appear always do so just at ‘that’ right moment when you need an extra bit of comfort! Sending you love X

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Maybe because in hypersensitive moments we are looking for an extra bit of support from somewhere, but it is uncanny how these things happen.

  2. SeagullSuzie October 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    It’s so strange, the feeling that life goes on as normal all around you and you have to get on, I remember that. Beautiful images. I am truly sorry to hear your news today Jessica.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Suzie. Keeping busy is good.

  3. Jacqueline October 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    A very sad and difficult time for you and your family Jessica….. I’m so sorry to hear that the inevitable arrived. Will be thinking of you all over the next few days. Much love. XXXX

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      However expected it still hits you like a train, but we all have to face up to it sooner or later I guess. Thanks Jackie.

  4. Sigrun October 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Jessica, I’m very sorry about this news. You have made wonderful pictures, and I think, your father is looking through the clouds.


    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Sigrun. Looking at the pictures I can’t believe we were out in such stormy weather and only felt about one drop of rain!

  5. Countrysidetales October 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Thinking of you and Mike, Jess x

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks mate.

  6. Alison October 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Jessica. Lovely photos of the clouds and the sunset.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      We are blessed living in a place where we can escape to beautiful surroundings.. but then so are you! Thanks Alison.

  7. Jo October 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. I too have noticed rainbows appear at times like these. Sending my thoughts your way at this difficult time. xx

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jo. We were talking about flowers yesterday and I recounted to Mike your story of the teddy bear. It raised a much needed smile.

  8. CJ October 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss Jessica, you are in my thoughts. CJ xx

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks CJ. x

  9. Sol October 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica how awfully sad. I am beaming you hugs.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Very sad, but not unexpected. Thanks Sol.

  10. Em October 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    A big hug from me. Will be in touch soon. X

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      Thanks Em. I hope your internet is back?

  11. Chloris October 14, 2014 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Oh dear, I am so sorry, how sad for you. It was good that you were able to enjoy this magical walk.
    What amazing skies. Fantastic photos Jessica. All the Best. x.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      The skies were incredible. It wasn’t cold either, so we stood out on the cliff top till the sun went down.

  12. Anna October 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear your sad news Jessica. Those rainbow filled skies and serene seas must have been of some comfort and your garden will be too even those crocosmias. Will be thinking of you. Take care xxx

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Those crocosmias will be the death of me too. How do you ever get rid of the damn things?? Thanks Anna.

  13. Sarah October 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica, So sorry to hear your very sad news, even when it is expected it is difficult to take in. I also have taken walks by the sea after my parents died too and it has given me some comfort too. You walk looks so magical especially with the rainbows too. Sending you words and thoughts of comfort. Sarah x

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Sarah, living within easy reach of the sea has become so special. We won’t be living on a hill with 84 steps to the garage forever and when we move I’d like it to be near the sea, as you have done.

  14. Justine Wilkinson October 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    So sorry to hear your news; sending you and your family my condolences.
    Your photos are beautiful, as ever.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Justine. We certainly picked a day for dramatic skies!

  15. Denise October 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    A rainbow connection. Very, very special. Many hugs to you x

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm - Reply

      I don’t know why it was comforting, but it was. Thanks Denise. Missing your posts..

  16. wherethejourneytakesme October 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Stunning images Jessica – sorry about your sad news – I hope you find peace in the days to come. You will have some very special memories to treasure of the good times with your mum.

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks Viv. Strength comes from family and good friends and yes, happy memories.

  17. wherefivevalleysmeet October 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Dear Jessica – I like the old Norse symbolic tradition of a rainbow being a celestial bridge – these times in our life are so difficult, sending you best wishes and love♡

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      I like that concept too. It’s a strange coincidence that I had the exact same experience after both of their deaths. Thanks Rosemary.

  18. 1secondhandrose October 14, 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    So sorry to read your sad news Jessica – it’s always shocking when it happens no matter how prepared you think you are. Looks like getting out over the weekend was good for you though – the rainbow was beautiful.
    Sending Hugs and thinking of you.
    Rose H

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm - Reply

      There isn’t much that’s good about dementia, but for the last week she had looked so peaceful.. the care home staff and the GP commented on it constantly. And when the end came she knew nothing about it.

  19. Linda October 14, 2014 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Oh dear Jessica…..sad days indeed….my Dad and Mom passed on the SAME DATE…..28 years apart!
    Love the rainbows….did you find any feathers on the beach that day?
    Some say they are Angels….I like to believe that♥️
    I know you will find the strength to get thru the next few days…
    Cheers! My friend..
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      I don’t remember feathers, although there were last time I was on that beach, not so long ago. I brought home several pebbles. All the same, grey with white streaks. I meant to take a photo but the weather was dire here yesterday, no chance.

      • Linda October 19, 2014 at 3:46 am - Reply

        Perhaps that was a premonition….
        I love your blog♥️

        Linda. :o)

        • Jessica October 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm - Reply

          I hope it’s a good premonition. I thought the sky looked a bit threatening! But with the rainbows I think it was.

  20. snowbird October 14, 2014 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I love the rainbows, and how lovely that they appeared for both of your parents. I’m sorry to hear of your loss, I hope your mum had a peaceful passing and a happy life and that you have good memories of her.
    I saw shooting stars the evening before both of my parents funeral, lot’s of them.
    I hope all goes well, you look after you.
    The pics are stunning, the last one actually gave me goosebumps.xxx

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm - Reply

      The skies were awesome! I love the idea of shooting stars. Will look out for them. Thanks snowbird.

  21. CherryPie October 14, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    I am sorry to hear your sad news, but now your mother is at peace. The rainbows are a lovely message, synchronicity. Similar things occurred after my father passed away.

    Your sunset photos are stunning!

    I hope all your arrangements run smoothly and don’t forget to take some time out for yourself xx

    • Jessica October 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      The sunset was a bonus, I wasn’t expecting to see that given the weather that day. The other cool thing was that even though the showers were all around us we didn’t get wet. Thanks Cherie.

  22. Amy at love made my home October 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    Love and hugs to you. xx

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Amy x

  23. Denise October 14, 2014 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    So sorry Jessica – 20 years ago I lost my mum remember the moment to the detail xxxx

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      I have the same recollection of my Dad’s passing. There are some things we’ll never forget. Thanks Denise.

  24. Cumbrian October 14, 2014 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    As you say, however much it’s expected, it’s never easy. But life does go on, and things return to normal when everything gets sorted out, time’s the great healer.
    Stay strong.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Today has been really frustrating in terms of getting things sorted out. Strength is needed. And a sense of humour sometimes too.

  25. Jennifer October 15, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry, Jessica. The rainbows were beautiful, they must have been very comforting. Take care.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jennifer.

  26. Virginia October 15, 2014 at 4:12 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear your news Jessica. I hope the rainbow, and the good wishes of friends are of comfort. I hate the way the grief ‘broadsides’ you when you least expect it – driving in heavy traffic when suddenly blinded by tears is just not fair, I thought. May you find strength to get through the next while, and comfort in happy memories.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Everyone has been very kind and we do have some good memories. Thanks Virginia. Hope all is well with you.

  27. Kris P October 15, 2014 at 6:30 am - Reply

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, Jessica. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still a shock to the system. Take the next steps one at a time – I found that, while the tasks you face can carry you along day by day, they can also sideline the grieving process if you let them take your full focus. I hope the beauty of nature continues to serve as a useful guide.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      I can relate to that. Sometimes things can be made unnecessarily hard in this day and age.

  28. sustainablemum October 15, 2014 at 8:08 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear of your loss. How poignant and beautiful that you should see rainbows on momentous days in your life.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      I wonder if it is because we are far more tuned into the natural world in that short space of time. In the normal run of our lives perhaps we are just too busy to look up at the sky.

  29. Pauline October 15, 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear your sad news Jessica, it’s never easy losing a parent. Your walk seems to have done you a lot of good, take time to stand back, everything doesn’t have to be done immediately. We waited for about 3 months before we sorted Mum’s bits and pieces and were then able to have a good laugh over some of the things we found. You and Mike are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      Mum was in a care home so although there has been no overt pressure so far it won’t be long before we will need to clear her room. I am dreading it.
      Glad to hear the under gardener is still doing well. I have been thinking about both of you too Pauline, take care.

  30. ginaferrari October 15, 2014 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear your sad news Jessica. Not an easy time but thinking of you.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Thanks Gina.

  31. Rosie October 15, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

    So sorry to read your sad news, I remember experiencing those feelings when my mum passed away ealy one Sunday morning in May 1999. Take time, take care – my thoughts are with you both.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      Thank you Rosie. I don’t feel I’ve had time to come to terms with it yet. From the numbness straight into the bureaucracy. Hey ho.

  32. Sue@GLAllotments October 15, 2014 at 9:55 am - Reply

    It’s strange how we seem to home in on nature when we lose someone. My abiding memory of my dad’s death is listening to the dawn chorus.You must be feeling a mixture f re;ief and great sadness at the moment so take care.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Relief is certainly part of it. Watching someone decline over a period of years is not an easy thing to do.

  33. Pats. October 15, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

    God bless you all, my dear. Am sending big hugs to you and yours. My sentiments are the same as Paulines, take it easy. xx.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Pats. Will do.

  34. Anny October 15, 2014 at 11:00 am - Reply

    So sorry Jessica, thinking of you. Agree with the others, take things slowly, even expected deaths hit you at unexpected moments, just be very gentle with yourself.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      A few more trips to the beach I think. Even in the rain! Thanks Anny.

  35. AnnetteM October 15, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Thinking of you and Mike at this difficult time. I hope all the arrangements go smoothly. How lovely to see those rainbows and beautiful sunset on your walk.The photos are stunning. You have some lovely comments from people who have obviously been through what you are going through. I can only say the same – take time to grieve; it does get easier but it takes time.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      I’ve been really touched by all the comments. Thanks Annette.

  36. Helen Johnstone October 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Im sorry to hear your news and I know exactly what you mean about that strange almost normal pause. When Dad died in August I felt bad for doing normal things at this time, it was very strange. I know going through your Mum’s things will be hard but once you start you might find it helps with the grieving. We have certainly been reminded of all sorts of things from the past which have lead to interesting conversations and happy memories.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      I remember you pruning hedges and thought about that as crocosmias flew through the air!
      We have ‘downsized’ her twice in the last couple of years so we’re now down to the core, photographs and the like. The things that provoke the strongest of emotions.

  37. Donna@GardensEyeView October 15, 2014 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Oh Jessica I am so very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. It is so difficult and surreal when we lose our parents. But it brought tears to my eyes even more to see the rainbows and dramatic skies…like they were smiling down on you. I wish you solace and peace as you move through these difficult times and know we are here thinking of you and sending soft warm whispers of love, blessings and hugs to you!

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you Donna, so much. I’ve been overwhelmed by all of the support. Never expected to see skies like that on our walk either, I thought it was going to be normal grey English drizzle!

  38. Dorothy @ The Nature of Things October 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Rainbows are always a miracle and a promise, aren’t they? I’ve been where you are and you and your family have my deepest sympathy at this sad time.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Rainbows are not uncommon here (like rain!), but they are still always a special sight. Thank you Dorothy.

  39. Freda October 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    My condolences Jessica. There is solace to be found in nature as I’m sure you know, and these photographs are wonderful.

    • Jessica October 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      I don’t know why I am drawn to nature at difficult times, but I surely am.

  40. threadspider October 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    So sorry Jessica. It’s very hard to deal with losing your mother even when it’s expected. I found nature a huge solace too- Thinking of you.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Thanks. It’s supposed to be drier over the weekend, so I’m hoping to fit in another walk or two. It really does help.

  41. Janet/Plantaliscious October 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    I’m so sorry Jessica, what a difficult time, though I hope in a weird way the connection back to your Dad’s death painted in the sky like that was a kind of comfort. All the best dealing with the practicalities, I hope garden, nature and Mike all help bolster you when you need it, and gradually sad memories of your Mum and her last days are replaced, muscled out by good ones.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      It’s amazing how many things there are to do all of a sudden. At least it keeps us busy. My poor garden is being neglected and is starting to disappear under a blanket of leaves. But there will be time enough for that before winter sets in (I hope..). Thanks Janet.

  42. Helene October 16, 2014 at 4:50 am - Reply

    I am sorry for your loss, losing a parent is always difficult, I lost my own father in February and it still feels raw. I have you in my thoughts, take good care of yourself during this difficult time.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm - Reply

      It’s not easy is it. I’m just trying to keep busy at the moment. Although I did manage to drop into a plant sale on my travels today 🙂 Thanks Helene.

  43. Vera October 16, 2014 at 7:07 am - Reply

    Your mum will always be with you Jessica, even though she is now not in life. My mum passed away last year, and I cope by thinking of how it was for her, that she was tired, ill, and just wanted to pass over. I could never be selfish enough to want her to still be here and, anyway, she often visits me so I know she is in a better place. Sending you blessings of peace. Wishing you calm within your heart. The same for Mike. And when you feel a whisper of a long forgotten memory connected with your mum, then enjoy,….laugh……be happy….. because she will be sharing the memory with you. Vx

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your comforting words Vera. I often feel that my father is still close by, hopefully now my mother too. She has had very poor quality of life in recent months, had she been able to communicate no doubt she would also have said enough is enough.

  44. elaine October 16, 2014 at 7:14 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear your bad news – the photos in the post are beautiful and seem rather apt somehow. Take care.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Elaine & thanks. Like you I love the big skies that we get at the coast, and watching the weather coming in. We had all sorts on that day!

  45. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA October 17, 2014 at 1:06 am - Reply

    Those are lovely photos. It’s like the storm lifted and the sky cleared and all becomes new again. The rainbows struck a chord with me and I remembered a poem about a ” rainbow bridge”. So I looked for it and it was meant to comfort someone who has lost a pet. But perhaps the bridge is for all creatures great , small and people too? The sentiment was lovely.
    My father remarked that the day my Mother passed there was not a cloud to be seen and all the birds sang softly. It angered him that it was not a gray stormy day because that’s how he felt. But later he reflected and said it was a sign to let him know all was well, she was taken care of and in a better place and he would see her again.
    Take care I hope things won’t be to stressful over the next few weeks.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      I’ll look out the poem, thanks Suzanne.
      It’s funny how we notice the weather so much more at times like this. I suppose when somebody has hit the pause button there is time to take it in, in a way that we might not normally do. The skies looked very ominous for a while but you are right, they cleared.

  46. Christina October 17, 2014 at 8:38 am - Reply

    The beautiful images of your walk are such a positive memory for you to hold onto in the future. When death is a release it is (slightly) easier on those left behind, take time to grieve as well as doing all the painful things one must. The landscape and our gardens are a wonderful consolation to us. I hope you will soon have only happy memories of your mum and not of the time when she was suffering.

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      I have just brought home a heap of photographs that need sorting through. Maybe not a job for tomorrow, but there are plenty of very lovely memories in there.

  47. Joanne October 17, 2014 at 10:36 am - Reply

    So, so sorry for your loss Jessica xx

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      Thanks Joanne. You and Mike are in my thoughts too, skimming through blog titles I feel for you in your own loss. Take care x

  48. Annie Edwards October 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    my thoughts are with you, Jessica. Beautiful, serene images x

    • Jessica October 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks Annie. Our coasts do provide the most atmospheric of images don’t they?

  49. Annie October 18, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry to (belatedly) read your sad news Jessica. I do hope you found comfort in the incredible beauty of the sea shore, captured so wonderfully in these gorgeous photographs. Thinking of you xxx

    • Jessica October 18, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      It really does make a difference. I only wish we’d had time this week to go back again. Thanks Annie.

  50. Natalie October 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    I’m so very sorry you’ve lost your dear Mum. Sending you condolences and a virtual hug. The photos are just lovely. I love that your mother was sending you rainbows.

    Take all the time you need to sort through your mother’s things. That was something I found I could not do all at once.

    Take care, thinking of you.

    • Jessica October 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks Natalie. I’ve had to do a lot of the work this week because we had to sort out her room at her nursing home. A few boxes brought home which I can look through at leisure.

  51. Caro October 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I’m catching up with reading blogs and this sad news was not at all what I expected when I clicked on your post title, Jessica. You have my heartfelt condolences, both for now and the months ahead. How lovely that you have Mike to hold your hand through this. I can understand your mixed emotions of grief and relief – I have both my parents still but my mum has dementia (getting worse by the week now) and my dad has early Alzheimer’s. At least they’re still in their own home (with loads of support from family) and they have each other. I love my mum completely but, my gosh, sometimes it’s like looking after a truculent child and we have to just be patient and understanding and think about the good times. There is so much fear in old age, I’m so pleased to read that your mum found peace before she died and that you’re finding peace in nature. Thinking of you, Caro xx

    • Jessica October 19, 2014 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Caro. Dementia is a terrible thing. To rob a person of their personality and their memories. Mum didn’t know me at all for probably the last nine months and maybe before that. And definitely reverted to a child like state. For her though it was very peaceful. All she wanted to do was sleep and, in the end, that was how she drifted away. There are worse ways.

  52. Simone October 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Sending you lots of love and good wishes. I saw a double rainbow today. I have never seen one before! Take care Jessica. I am thinking of you. x

    • Jessica October 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Simone x

  53. Cathy October 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Part of your life is over, Jessica, and will never be the same – but hopefully there will be a wealth of memories to take forward. Whether a blessing or not, it will be a strange time for you and our best wishes and healing thoughts are with you as you plod onwards. Take care….

    • Jessica October 22, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

      It does feel a very strange time, you are right Cathy. Life forces you to go on, but it certainly isn’t the same. Thank you.

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