Saturday, 30 January 2010

Joan Edwards




I’ve written a good deal over the years, on many subjects, but this blog post is beyond any doubt the saddest thing I’ve ever written, for my mother has died. She was 93 years old, and until the last stages had thoroughly enjoyed what she always recognised (and this awareness was a gift, one of the many examples of her wisdom) was a wonderful and very happy life. She was a teacher who believed that teachers should have a love of children, and a remarkable number of her pupils, some of whom are now long retired themselves, stayed in touch with her, a tribute to her kindness and friendliness. She delighted in people, and they delighted in her. My cousin described her recently as ‘invincible’, and I thought she was too, but in the end, nobody is invincible.

In the last real conversation we had before sickness took hold, at the end of November, she gleefully told me she was planning to re-read all my books, and had nearly reached the end of my first, All the Lonely People. This was absolutely typical, and I owe her more than I can ever describe. She was the person who first read to me, and was responsible for my love of stories. It was even her idea to introduce me to Agatha Christie. Of course, she was thrilled when I achieved my childhood dream of becoming a published writer – this prompted her to write a couple of very good short stories herself, but she never sought publication. Her love for me was absolute and unconditional, and I always wanted to be worthy of it.

The photos are the last I have of her – taken on Mother’s Day last year, when she was still quite well. I have a stock of pre-prepared blog posts to cover for unexpected emergencies, but I’m not tempted to post them in the present circumstances. So this blog will fall silent until next week-end.

I will start posting again then, because during the last disheartening months, the pleasurable experience of connecting with readers and fellow bloggers really has helped to keep me going at a time when for the first time in my life, I found it almost impossible to write fiction. Can I just say how much I appreciate the kindness that so many people, most of whom I’ve never met, have shown me via the blogosphere?

I have never wanted this blog to be about my personal life, and it isn’t going to change focus now, or become self-indulgent. Having explained why the blog will be quiet for a few days, I’m not intending to say much more about what has happened. This is a blog about crime writing and crime fiction, including but not limited to my own efforts. One of the things I like most about fiction, and writing, is the chance of escapism, and in the weeks ahead, a bit of escapism is what I seek.

42 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Martin - I am so sorry to learn of your moth's passing. My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time.

Nicole_Hadaway said...

I am so very sorry for your loss, Martin. Time off from blogging is completely understandable.

It is nice how the internet, through blogs, gives the solitary pursuit of writing some unexpected, but welcome, interaction with other writers.

Do take care during this time.

Nicole

Margaret (BooksPlease) said...

I'm so sorry, Martin. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Jerry House said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

seana said...

My thoughts are with you, Martin. And I'm glad you shared this news with us, despite your general intention not to make this a personal space. My best wishes in the time ahead. I'll look forward to your return to the blogosphere, but only when you're really ready.

Bill Crider said...

Very sorry to hear this. What great photos, though, and what fine memories. My sincere sympathy for your loss.

Kay said...

Martin, let me first say that I am so sorry that you have lost your mother. She looks very dear and the picture of the two of you is wonderful. You and your family will be in my thoughts this week. Take care and know that there are people out here who understand.

Uriah Robinson said...

Our deepest condolences Martin and our thoughts are with you.
From my own experience the next few months will be difficult, but you will have all the memories of someone who obviously was a wonderful mother.

Ann Elle Altman said...

I think it's wonderful that you mentioned your mother, our parents are often reason we write, they are often the first people that introduce us to book and one of the most influential and encouraging. It's important to remember them.

ann

Maxine said...

My deep sympathies, Martin. There are no words to describe losing someone that you love so closely as you evidently loved your mother. What a wonderful woman, and mother, she was, as is clear from reading your lovely post.
My thoughts are with you.
Ironically I dropped in to write that I finished The Serpent Pool today and that I enjoyed it very much. I do think it is the best crime fiction series being written in the UK today.
But all that must seem very ephemeral compared with your sad news. I am thinking of you.

My very best wishes to you and to the rest of your family.

Maxine.

crimeficreader said...

Martin, I am so sorry for your loss.

Dorte H said...

I am glad you shared this with us, Martin, because even though you are one of the many bloggers I have never met in real life, I appreciate that you let us know about your great loss and why you are not posting.

Please accept my condolences!
- and as I lost my own dear father several years ago, I will not even be humble and suggest that words of comfort mean nothing. They cannot bring our loved ones back, but they can convince us that we still have much left to live for.

Martin, we are many readers of your blog and your excellent novels who think of you and your family these days, and we look forward to having you back.

Jane said...

Hi Martin,
I took two friends to Ormskirk today to listen to you talk about your work and Jenn told me what had happened. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. This is wihotut doubt one of the most moving posts I have read on a blog. Yet depsite the sad news there is an overwhelming sense of celebration of a life lived well.
with best wishes,
Jane.

Deb said...

My condolences on your loss. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. Take care--my thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of your family.

Ed Gorman said...

A simple elegant farewell. Thanks, Martin.

The Bloody Thumb said...

I'm so sorry to read this, Martin.

Thanks for all your wonderful posts.

Thoughts are with you.

lyn said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Martin. You're right, it sounds like Joan had a blessed life & you obviously appreciated & loved her very much. You have my sympathy.

harriet said...

This is indeed a very sad post. But how really lucky you have been to have such a great mother, one who supported you and was proud of you, and one who stayed so well and happy for such a wonderfully long life. Hope the coming week is tolerable, and look forward to your posts again when you feel up to it.

Elisabeth said...

Martin, maybe you don't need always to write fiction. Maybe there's a place for the real stuff, the non-fiction like here now in this post.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother.

You are a fortunate man indeed to have such a relationship with such a mother and that she shared so many years with you in this world and that she read and loved your books.

You have good memories to build upon. a mother's love to remember. Now you must continue to write and to grieve. My good wishes go with you.

Paul Beech said...

Martin – So sorry to hear of your sad loss.

Your mother, Joan, was clearly a wonderful lady in every way. A lucky lady, too, to have enjoyed such a long and happy life, secure in your love and devotion. She must have been very proud of you indeed.

Thank you for sharing the two photos – they say so much.

With deepest sympathy,

Paul

Fiona said...

I offer you my condolences, Martin. I know what it is to lose a dearly loved mother, although I'm lucky in having a sister with whom I can share happy memories. Your mother sounds a wonderful lady and later you too will find your happy memories are stronger than your sad ones...it takes time to reach that point, but believe me, you will.

Martin Edwards said...

I am deeply appreciative of your very kind messages, more so than I can easily describe. Thank you.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Martin,
Having lost my own remarkable mum at age 83 last year, I know how difficult it is. Hang in there.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Martin, I'm so sorry to hear this news. She sounds like she was a fantastic lady and a wonderful mother--you've written a very moving tribute to her.

I love how you mentioned trying to be worthy of unconditional love--don't we all feel that way...although it's a gift.

I'll have you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Elizabeth

Jilly said...

I am really sorry to hear about your mother's death, Martin.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Martin-I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my mother last February. So cruel at this dark time of year. After a year, it gets easier and you are glad for the long life they led, grateful to have had her see your success, read your books, spend time together. I feel so sorry for the ones who lose their parents too early and don't get to share their adulthood with them. A blog can only be about the other stuff part of the time-it means a lot to all of us that you shared this.

bookwitch said...

Very sorry to hear about your mother, Martin. I hope you will find that sharing this with your online friends will help.

Emma Michaels said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.

maxim said...

Martin,

My thoughts are with you. She sounded wonderful. Look after yourselves and yours.


maxim

Len Tyler said...

Martin - I have only just seen this. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful and very moving post. Your mother was clearly a very wonderful woman. I have always been sorry that neither of my parents lived to see the publication of my first novel. It's nice that your mother lived to enjoy your very considerable success. I look forward to the resumption of your blog when you feel able. In the meantime, our thoughts are with you and your family.

Minnie said...

My condolences to you, Martin; I am sorry for your loss. Clearly, your mother was an unusual and wonderful person, gifted teacher and an ideal mother for a writer. As a teacher she must have given so much to so many; above all, though, she must have been very proud of you. It may be some consolation to know that she lived to see you succeed as a novelist, and could then address the promptings of her own talent.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting about this personal sadness;it was a heartfelt and graceful tribute to a very special mother.

Always enjoy reading your blog even though I have not commented before.

Warmest good wishes to you and your family.

Sue

Nan said...

Martin, I am so very sorry. Thank you for writing about her. What a wonderful, wonderful face she had. I can see the little girl in her eyes. My heart aches for you.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Martin - Let me wish you the best in these trying circumstances. Both of my parents are now gone, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think of one or the other.

-- Jeff

Dean James said...

Martin -- so sorry for your loss. Having lost both my parents, I understand how wrenching it is. She sounds like a wonderful person. We all wish you the best.

adele said...

Your post about your mother's death was very moving. Many condolences at this sad time.

Martin Edwards said...

Thank you all so much for these messages, which I do value greatly.
Normal blog service will resume soon!
Martin

robertarood said...

Martin, My deepest sympathies. I am so sorry for your loss.

Juliet said...

Martin - I've been away so have only just read this brave post. So deeply sorry for your sad loss but thank you for sharing these very personal thoughts and the lovely photos of your beautiful mother.

Michael Walters said...

Martin - also been away for a few days so only just seen this. A beautiful post. Sincere condolences.

Martin Edwards said...

Roberta, Juliet, Michael, thank you very much for these remarks.

Annie said...

I am really sorry I read this blogpost only now. My deepest condolences. Loosing our beloved ones is always hard but we have other beloved ones who always help us out...