Tuesday, 27 January 2015

It has always intrigued me with the kindness other bloggers show each other. After all for the most part we are strangers. A blog being a diary of our thoughts & opinions.

Whilst mine started off & still very strongly consists of my garden, my crafting has crept in along with my family. It's how it is.

After quite a sleep deprived week with Harry being so blinking ill (back at school now & fighting fit) I was most cheered by your kind comments.

I was giggling to myself Saturday evening whilst getting ready for our family date night. Harry kept on rolling his eyes at Mike. I was drying & straightening my hair before applying the bit of make-up I wear. I would just like to say the entire process of me getting ready from start to finish was 45 minutes. Harry was complaining that women 'mums in particular' took so long getting ready! I was giggling because it was funny & I was going to mention it in passing as you do on my next blog post.

The phone then went, my company mobile phone. I know if the phone goes in the evening its bad news. For some reason the house phone wasn't connected to the socket so whilst it was ringing to the outside world, it wasn't inside the house.

My dad had taken ill & the care home had been trying to contact me all afternoon, they had phoned work to get the mobile number that had been misplaced.

I made a quick phone call to my sister & we were on our way. I then stopped next to his bedside for the 16 hours it took him to pass away.

I'm the eldest & also the strongest I deal with things, it's just how it is. I've had to spend the past couple of days assuring people I was quite fine & not quite as heartless as I appear It is what it is or I am what I am sort of thing. I made a phone call to my brother to say he needed to be there if he could cope with it & that Mike was on his way to pick him up.

My brother & sister have always found it hard to cope with, my brother has pretty much been unable to cope with my dad being in the home. My sister for the last few months has pretty much perched herself outside the door of the room he was in. Unable to attend without me. She did it once & it nearly finished her off. He has been in a bad way.

Being more practical & always seeing life as black & white with a thin strip of grey down the middle I do cope with things. We never had a particularly happy childhood, being brought up by two adults who quite frankly made a mistake in picking each other. There was very little love shown & arguments were frequent & on occasions violent. It's how it was.

I was a quiet child who sought refuge in books, through books I found how life should be lived. Being quiet & watching helped me to become a person who sees the bigger picture & give me a huge sense of empathy for other people. I dislike unfairness greatly & I will back any person who has been treated unfairly.

My brother lasted all of 15 minutes at the home before I sent him back, he couldn't cope & it wasn't fair to keep him there. My sister couldn't cope but wanted to be there so she sat in the corner & I positioned my chair so she couldn't see my dad.

I always need to find the humour in something. Ten minutes before my dad passed on I was sat at his bedside my face approx 10 cms from his as I needed to be sure he had passed before I told my sister. My brother was texting me to say he was coming back up with a childhood friend. I knew it was close for my dad so I text back he needed to come back quickly if he wanted to say goodbye.  The carers at the home were absolutely fantastic, without their professionalism & caring nature I'm sure the whole thing would have been much harder.

I saw my dad take his last breath & was much comforted by it, it was a peaceful passing. I sat there for two minutes wondering with these thoughts running through my mind 'Drat how do  handle this now, do I just say to Sue I'm nipping to the toilet & get the nurse, do I say to Sue go & get the nurse for me, how do I tell my brother etc. It was quite funny, I think I was tapping my fingers at one point. Anyway in the end I told Sue to go & get the nurse as I think he has gone, just to double check. I also had to tell my mum which I did in a kind manner. While she was sad (they truly had a strange relationship) she hadn't seen him for nearly two years so took it quite well!

I am pleased to say there has been far more laughter than tears. We went for a drink at my dads local which was the right thing to do. Laughing with childhood friends & their parents about old memories was a fitting tribute.

I have rambled enough now, recorded what I wanted too. Life goes on the dog is pestering for a walk & I have to go to the post office to send Robs new passport by g'teed next day delivery. I will be busy for the next couple of days but pretty much everything has been sorted. Hope to be back on Friday.

Take care all xx


45 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news but your words were lovely and even in such a situation made me giggle and smile. Sometimes you just have to get on with things and write them down as they have happened. I'm the eldest child too and we do get loaded down with things don't we? I hope all goes well this week, my thoughts are with you x Amanda

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  3. It is hard being or appearing to be the strong one. When each of my parents died I focused my attention in helping others cope. I only let my feelings spill when I was in my own home.I think the fact that feelings are not spilled out in public can mean that people think you are strong and coping well but it isn't always the case.. Take care.

    PS Sorry for the typos in my first comment

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  4. Such a sad situation that you have handled with great tact and dignity. Thinking of you and hoping all goes well this week.

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  5. I'm very sorry to hear about your dad's passing. It's a sad time for the whole family. I remember sitting with my mother waiting for her to pass away. In the end, I wasn't actually there at the final moment. My dad now lives with us - he's 86 - and is still active and able to get out and about.

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  6. The end of a life is always sad and losing parents is deeply emotional for quite some time. Your childhood sounds a bit like mine, as my parents were not a good match to say the least. And they didn't really understand how to be good parents, but I still miss them. You sound as though you have a very well rounded approach to death, which will be enormously helpful to you and your family. Take care.
    Jean
    x

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  7. So sorry to to hear about your Dad Joanne. Families are complicated things aren't they. I'm the youngest yet ironically the strongest in many ways and far better at facing up to things then my siblings. I love that you all went for a drink at your Dad's local, such a fitting thing to do. Take care over the coming weeks, grief can be sneaky xxx

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  8. So sorry to hear about your Dad. You do sound incredibly strong and dignified. Much love to you all x

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  9. It's such a hard thing, but laughter and memories do help. We had great fun in memories after my brother passed away in December, both his children found out things about him. Families are complicated, and I am glad you were able to sort yours in your own head. Losing your dad is hard, but he will always be with you, especially when you want him. xxxxx

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  10. So sorry to read your sad news - never easy to deal with but your approach to it is admirable and your post is so articulate and thoughtful. Be strong, but do allow yourself time to grieve too. Sending a big hug & lots of love, Gilly xx

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  11. You bounced right into this tale, and I was completely thrown when you say your father passed away that night. So sorry to hear, and although it sounds like you and your siblings had a different kind of relationship with your father, I have to agree with Gilly above and allow yourself some time on your own too. You sound very much like me. I was the one who could say "I'll deal with that" when matters came up with my mom. Mom and I had a humorous conversation in the hospital about where she wanted to be buried. She told me her preferences, and I came back the next week and told her she was the proud owner of a new piece of property. Although she and I laughed about it, my siblings were horrified. But I think I make light of things to others when it gets so serious because we all know the ending, and I know Mom didn't want us to grieve. I hope your siblings too find some peace and comfort, and they can look back on some happy moments as well. Take care Joanne, Wendy x

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  12. The oldest childrem... we are the ones "who can handle it"... get things done... take care of the rest. I am so glad you found that bit of laughter at your Dad's local. A perfectly fitting spot. Families are complicated... but, they are just that... family. Joanne, your writing and sharing this was very touching. I am sorry for your loss. blessings ~ tanna

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  13. Very sorry to hear of you losing your dad, but reading your words you sound like me. I am the oldest daughter in our family and my youngest brother took his own life and ended up on life support.I spent every day up the hospital but with no hope and then it was time to say good bye.
    I was the person with him and had to let the whole family know he had gone.It was heartbreaking but I am strong and did all the arrangements as none of the family could cope, but I saved my tears when I was on my own.And he will be forever in my heart.Sending you and your family lots of hugs to get through these next few days.
    Rosezeeta.

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  14. Hi Joanne, Sorry to hear your news. It's sounds like we had very similar upbringings indeed and I too was always the practical one when it came to my sisters. By the sounds of it you handled everything just the way your dad knew you would and a drink at his local was probably the most fitting tribute.

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  15. Death brings out either the best or the worst in us...glad it brought the best out in you!
    Jane x

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  16. So sorry to read about your dad but I'm glad you were with him at the end and were able to take comfort from that. Yes, we all cope with loss (and the threat of loss) in different ways. Take care.

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  17. Hi Joanne

    I was pretty much going to write the same as Jane! Remember to be kind to yourself as well as to everyone else. Eleanor xx

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  18. Hugs so sorry.

    Do not forget to give yourself time to grieve too; its better out than in. You matter too and sometimes its okay for you not to be so strong. Give yourself some of the TLC you so freely give to others you are allowed.

    Pattypan

    x

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  19. I'm so sorry to hear such sad news. It's funny, I'm the youngest of three, twelve years younger than my sister was and eight years younger than my brother, yet it's always been me that everyone has turned to as I'm the strong one. I'd just say be careful taking everything on yourself because things do have a way of catching up with you in the end when you least expect it. Make sure that you have time for yourself and don't take too much on, even if you think you're the one who can handle it. Sending lots of hugs xx

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  20. Take care Joanne, thinking of you x

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  21. Oh Joanne. I am so sorry to hear this, I know from things you have said on your blog before that things have been going downhill for your Dad, and I am of course so sad to hear about your news and your Dad's death. It sounds as though your sense of humour and can do attitude is carrying you on at the moment and that is good. Thinking of you, sending love and hugs. Amy xx

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  22. I'm so sorry for your loss. No matter how complicated our relationships are, it's always hard to lose a parent. I'm glad you could be there with your dad for his final hours.

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  23. My condolences. Take care. Flighty xx

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  24. I'm so very sorry for your loss Jo. I know what you mean about finding humour in situations, I am the same. No doubt it will be a tricky time for a while, but as you point out, the mundane things go on. What you say about the kindness of bloggers intrigues me too. People we have never met are so kind. But I always feel connected to people whose blogs I read, and I genuinely care about them, they are friends. For that reason you will be in my thoughts. CJ xx

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  25. I don't know how old your dad was. When my mum died she was 88 and so ready. I was pleased for her and sad for us. I'm the youngest and the most practical (not difficult with my sis!) but it was my grown up daughters that took much on, which was good. We also laughed a lot, thinking of family stories that we all share.
    Look after yourself.

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  26. I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. Take care.

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  27. Always difficult to lose a parent, regardless of our history. Sounds as if you're coping well. I've yet to face this challenge but hope that I would be like you. Go well, Jo. Caro xx

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  28. So sorry for your loss. You sound as though you are the backbone of your family and should feel proud of it. It is hard to lose a parent but I remember when we lost our Mum we kept our sense of humour, around her deathbed. She would have joined in if she could. It kept us going. Take care, you're in my thoughts.

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  29. So sorry to hear your news. Take care.

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  30. Hi,
    When I started reading your post I was not expecting to read about your Dad. I am very sorry and hope that you are also getting the support you need.
    My Dad passed away three years ago of Cancer and it all happend in about 27 days, so a double shock. I was the one that the hosiptal rang at the endas they could not get through to my Mum or sister (we gave contacts in order of distance from the hospital. I am in Cornwall and Dad was in Cambridge). I then had to ring Mum at 2am to tell her what had happend, it had barely sunk in and it was suggested why was I not more upset but the hospital wanted Mum to know immediately. I had cried a river on my own in the hotels we stayed in during those 27 days and I will confess that I saw it coming. He was given a year but.....
    It has been said by many here about havi8ng to pass on the news, I had to go through my Mum's address book and phoned everyone who needed to know. I also helped with the arrangements etc.
    My husband was fantastic and I am sure that yours will be the rock that mine was (and still is). I was offered counselling at work but I asked hubby if he could cope that I spoke to him instead and that is what I did. So collasping in a heap of tears did not help at the time and someone needs to think with some clarity and it sounds like you are that person Joanne. At some point have some time to yourself and deal/cope with this in your own way and not some one else's view of how to cope with a loss. We are all different after all.
    I was not there when Dad went , I had gone home to Cornwall the previous evening, that is a regret of mine, but your description of those last minutes are very well written and clearly from the heart.
    Take care and my best wishes also to your family.
    xx

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  31. That's a tough subject to broach in public, but I understand exactly how you feel. Being the "strong one" is doubly difficult. To be honest, from what you have said, this turn of events may be the start of a new, better episode in your lives. I wish you well.

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  32. I am thinking of you my friend and sending you love. I'm glad you were able to be there xx

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  33. Well done. And what a way to go, quietly, slipping away. My Father in Law passed away quietly like that, just the easiest thing.
    I know you will stay strong for your family, but remember when you need a hand in the night and a voice to tell you it's ok.... well, that's where blogmates come in useful as well. Take care of yourself as well as everyone else, and speak again soon x

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  34. I'm sorry to hear about your dad's passing - I was very touched by the way you write about it with gentle but practical words. We lost two family members last year and it was hard, but everyday life helped to carry us all through. I wish you and your family well and hope that the worst is behind you.
    Cathy x

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  35. I'm so sorry to hear your news, but glad you could be there with him. I found it a comfort that I was able to be with my dad when he died, that he wasn't alone and that I could give to him the love and support he always showed me. Take the time to grieve and celebrate his life xx

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  36. So sorry to hear about your dad. I went through something very similar with my dad at the end of November. He was taken from his extended care facility to the hospital as he had become non-responsive. He had told my husband a few days prior that he had 'had it' and that he was 'done'. He so wanted to be with my mum who passed away 31/2 years ago. There are 5 of us siblings and 3 of us, with spouses, spent 4 days at his side at the hospital. It was really a good thing to see him 'go' because his life had been reduced to a very poor quality. I find myself thinking about him a lot but not really with sadness, more that he was 89 and it was time. I hope that you find comfort in remembering the good times.

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  37. Oh friend......I am so sorry for your loss. It was a blessing that your dad had you right by his side. While I read your post I sensed your strength and I admire that. Praying for you and your family during this time Joanne. Nicole xoxo

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  38. My deepest condolences Joanne, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad passing away it was good that you were there to see his last breath, I sat with my mum holding her hand when she died and I felt comforted by the fact that I had been there with her right to the end. Thinking of you and your family God bless. xxx

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  39. you post brought back memories of when my passed away in a very similar situation I was the one sitting by her side as my sisters couldn't deal with it and I was the one who didn't have a good relationship with her, it was a blessing when the end came.

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  40. Your post reminds me of me :) I am a coper to, I don't let myself loose it and just keep on keeping on. When my daughter was extremely ill people constantly told me I was to cold about it. As if flailing crying and being "woe is me" would have helped anyone or anything. Don't feel bad about it.

    X x x
    P.s when you have a moment can you email me your postal address for the swap please. No rush though, take your time x x x

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  41. I'm so very sorry to hear your news.

    I too have had to be the strong one on so many occasions, it's manageable at the time but for me usually the wall comes crashing down spectacularly when I have time and space to let it. Last weekend being a very good example.

    I hope you get the support that YOU need during this sad, sad time. Thinking of you. Xx

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  42. Families ... awkward things, aren't they ... but it's never easy to lose a family member. So sorry for your loss m'dear x

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  43. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Love and prayers for you and your family at this difficult time. x

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  44. I was so sorry to hear your sad news in this post. Sending condolences to you and your family at this sad time.
    Helen xox

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