An update

First, my heartfelt thanks to those of you who commented on my last post. I read and deeply appreciated the kind words and thoughts shared regards what has been going on.

Things have, unfortunately, moved on in ways that, yes, I had feared but, worse than that, progressed more suddenly than I or anyone in my family had expected. My Dad passed away late on Tuesday evening; it was, in the end, really quite sudden. While his gradual decline over the past week had been worrying we had still held out some hope (you cling to anything, frankly), but on Tuesday afternoon we were told Dad wasn’t responding to his treatment and that the doctors felt it was time to allow nature to take its course. You can never prepare for news like that, no matter how you might try. You have to suddenly get your head around the cold fact that there would be no ‘cure’ after all, and that instead we had to turn thoughts towards a Hospice and palliative care, and making what would be my Dads last days the best they could be, but as it turned out there was yet one last, cruel twist- Dad only had hours, not days, and the arrangements for transferring him to a local Hospice proved to be pointless (it seems any plans we made for the past few weeks never came to anything, each plan unravelling).

Those last hours were not good; its impossible to immediately comprehend all the myriad implications of what we were being told, the finality of it and the suddenness of it. Bad enough being advised that Dad wasn’t ever coming home, but for it then to dawn upon us as the afternoon slipped into evening that we only had hours, minutes, not the days or weeks of this new scenario. I  take some consolation that we -my two brothers and I, and my mother- were with him at the end. I’m certain that, if Dad had to decide upon his final few hours, he would have wanted it to be with his family around him.

As I type this a few days have passed but the dim unreality of it all remains. I don’t think it has sunk in at all yet. Although Dad had been ill for several weeks it had never seemed so serious that we might lose him, and indeed only several days ago, confined to his bedroom as he was due to his back pain, he was able to chat and joke with us, and nobody could have thought this might lie ahead. So this past week or so since his stroke changed everything feels… well, obviously it feels unfair, unjust, but its such a major shift in what our lives were and what they will now be, its difficult getting a grip on it. What is life going to be like without him? Attention has inevitably turned to taking care of mom, and our focus is on that, and settling Dad’s affairs.

My earliest memory is one of my Dad. I must have been two years old, I think, maybe not even that. My Nan used to live near a big park and my Dad took me to play in the woods there (somewhere that he played in his own youth) and while we were playing Dad hid behind a tree. Running around, laughing, I suddenly realised that my Dad was nowhere to be seen and that I’d lost him and I vividly recall the horror of it (I’m sure we all have childhood memories of ‘losing’ our parents in crowds etc) and I burst into tears, and I remember Dad poking out of his hideaway assuring me everything was fine, but I was so upset he took me back to my Nans house and mom. I’ve been thinking of that day often, now. It feels like I’m back in those woods and Dad has disappeared behind that tree but, this time, he’s really gone and never coming back, he isn’t ever going to poke his head out from behind that trunk again and tell me everything’s going to be alright.

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6 thoughts on “An update

  1. Tom

    Very sorry to read this Ian. I do look forward (or hope) to be reading any updates you have in the future but please take care of yourself in the meantime. Losing a loved one, really, there aren’t words for it. It just sucks.

  2. Andy

    Sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. Been there, and the world changes forever when a parent is gone.

  3. My condolences too, with apologies for their tardiness. I know there’s an horrendous amount of “admin” stuff to do at times like this, which feels wholly inappropriate all things considered, so (to echo what Tom said) do be sure to remember to take care of yourself as well.

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