It’s been a difficult day and the signs are getting to me, weakening my resolve. I have a headache from holding back tears, ear ache from where my gold glasses pinch and my teeth along the right side ache, especially the one that was playing up not so long ago.
We buried a brother today, not a blood brother, but someone my parents took under their wing, who they loved, supported and taught some of life’s lessons to. As I was so much younger than my sister, I always called him Uncle John and loved his wife Aunty Kathy, to my Sister he always was her big brother; we were all so close without having to be in each others faces all the while. So many memories are framed with his laughter, I cannot but hear the ring-a-ding-ding of the door bell as he would breeze in. Vividly remembering the care he showed my dying mother, and his devastation at her and my fathers passing.
It was a beautiful service at the Woodland Park, the hazel coffin looked so small, even smaller than the standard oak. A single arrangement of hedgerow flowers atop. It wanted to rain as we were at the graveside but the trees sheltered us all so well. It is an incredibly calm place, more than peaceful, there is an enveloping sense of something that I cannot quite mark my words to. I was pleasant to catch up with friends, hear how their lives have progressed from our halcyon days at the garage.
I held it together quite well, floundering a bit at Henry Scott’s poem “Death Is Nothing At All”, that poem moves me more than WH Audin’s “Stop All The Clocks”. But at the graveside when I persuaded my Sister to throw some petals into the grave [something she said he had never done] and Aunty Kathy [the widow] saw me and came over and hugged me it was all I could do not to howl! She has had such a struggle these past couple of years with fighting John’s cancer, i cannot imagine her pain or grief.
I returned home to more sadness. On the forum I moderate a poster has had going through a living hell and I have been trying my hardest to support from so far away [they are in Australia]. She and her boyfriend both caught a cold like virus, she shrugged it off quite well but her partner who has a form of Muscular Dystrophy could not shake it so readily. It developed into a chest infection and affected his breathing. He was taken into hospital, the respiratory team monitored his gasses levels and the clinical team treated with aggressive antibiotics, and although the infection and virus diminished, the resulting effects to his breathing were concerning.
He and his partner had some heart to heart discussions and she proposed and he accepted. She was getting to grips with the bureaucracy of hospital bed wedding, when updated results came through. He was to be moved from HDU to CCU because his lungs were struggling to function. Devastatingly there were but two options, hope and pray that he might breath long enough to sustain life and say those two words [I’d do] or have a tracheotomy, which may prolong his life, but would mean he would need round the clock professional care [in other words be placed in a palliative care home] and would likely loose the power of speech [an aspect of MD as well].
I got home to news that he passed away quite peacefully earlier today. Just not fair o so many levels for so many reason just not fair.
One of the seagull chicks has gotten blown from the roof, it has a damaged wing, and I have no idea who to call to do something about it. The Seagull clan are going mad, squawking full throttle day and night, swooping and diving at so many people and cars that come near. But above all the chicks incessant high pitched shrill cheep-cheeping is about to drive me to madness.
I have had enough – stop the world I want to get off!
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!