Friday, 27 January 2012
Although my title reminds me vaguely of some game show, I'm talking about reality here. How do you 'bear' bad news? My husband phoned me from work yesterday and simply said that a good friend of ours had died from a stroke in the night. She was only 63 and as far as we all knew, in the best of health. Ironically, all our concerns had been with her husband who had his second quadruple by-pass a few months ago. He is now in good health... It's the next day, and I am in denial. One thinks, "only two days ago, she was cooking the evening meal, doing her favourite crossword" etc.etc. Is it better to go this way? Maybe for her: if she had fleeting last seconds I know she would have thought to herself that at least her house and affairs were in apple-pie order. Did she have that chance? What if it were me? My cupboards and paper-work are chaotic. I feel obliged to tackle everything now to minimise problems for those left behind for when it's me. Yet I drag my feet: I want to put my head in the sand. We have of course made our will and the children know where it is but that's not enough. One of my husband's staff had to attend his dad's funeral last week (sudden death) and was amazed to find that he had siblings he didn't know about and a plethora of documents to find for the funeral directors and other authorities. My husband brought home a copy: there are 31 pieces of information and/or documents required. I'll look at it later. A lingering death must be easier for those left behind, at least there's time to prepare and you are not in shock at the end; but is that kind of death (possibly painful) better for the sufferer? I'm going to England next month to see my dad: he's 94 and been in hospital since New Year with various ailments. Now he has a bladder infection (hospital-induced) and was at first refusing medicine, saying that 94 is old enough especially as he is blind and deaf. My brother says, he initially enjoyed the attention and change of scene. Now he wants to come home. He's really tough though, so I think he will last until my visit. After all, he's been predicting his own imminent demise since he was 45. A true hypochondriac. They usually outlast the rest of us don't they. Still, with a lot of deaths around me lately and more to come, it may be time for me to 'get religion'. That must be a kind of comfort.