This is now week thirteen for me as working from home continues. Work goes on as normal and things are starting to get busy again as the government east the lockdown restrictions and people start heading back to work. The organisation I work for has no immediate plans to get everyone back into the office, most of us can work remotely and will continue to work from home. Other than workload starting to pick up, nothing much else has really changed on that front.
From a personal point of view, quite a lot has changed. Around lunchtime on 1st may I received a phone call from my mum. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach as she knows I’m still working and only usually calls in the evening, so I knew something was wrong immediately. I have a relative with terminal cancer whose prognosis was that she had around eighteen months to live, that was over three years ago. I fully expected this call to be the news we’ve all known is coming for a while. Still not easy to hear, but it’s expected so mentally you’re prepared for when it happens.
When I answered the call, I could immediately tell that my mum was upset so I knew the reason for the call wasn’t good. It wasn’t however the news I was prepared for. What my mum told me next knocked me sideways, she told me my dad had died.
My dad has been in ill health for a while, he was seventy-three years old and having done manual work all his life, his body wasn’t in terrific condition. He had some arthritis which made moving around quite painful but nothing we thought was life threatening. He’d been feeling unwell for a couple of days and spent them resting in bed. On the Friday, he obviously felt a little better as he’d got up and gone for a shower and shave. The strain of this was too much and he suffered a fatal heart attack.
My dad and I had a complicated relationship that wasn’t always great but did get better as we both got older. We still had disagreements, mainly about football as he was a Liverpool supporter, but despite that, I knew if I needed help with anything, that he was always there.
I am grateful that my dad passed in the way that he would have wanted; it was quick and relatively painless, and he died at home. He had a major dislike of doctors and hospitals and really wouldn’t have wanted to suffer through a long and protracted illness. In that way, we are both very much alike. I hope I am this lucky when my time comes.
Organising everything during the current Covid-19 pandemic was difficult, but thankfully we have technology that makes things easier and the government departments that deal with the processes you have to go through have adapted and most things can now be done over the telephone or via email.
As my dad had died at home and had not seen a doctor prior to his death, the case had to be referred to the Coroner’s Office for a postmortem to be carried out. This took a lot longer than normal (understandable in the current situation) and so delayed the funeral arrangements. It was four weeks to the day between my dad passing and the funeral. This seemed a lot longer, and making the arrangements was both mentally and emotionally brutal.
The funeral was three weeks ago now, and I think I’m starting to come to terms with my dad not being around anymore. I still think about him every day, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s upsetting. I don’t think it’s helping that it’s coming up to Father’s Day and I’m seeing reminders everywhere. It’s still strange going to see my mum and my dad not being sat in his chair in the living room. While he may be gone, he will never be forgotten and until we meet again dad, rest in peace
I’m sure it will get easier over time, there are still a lot of things that need sorting out and they’re a constant reminder of him which is making it difficult to move forward. The number of things to be sorted is gradually reducing though, one thing at a time.
So, if you were wondering why there wasn’t much activity here recently, you know why. I know it’s not unusual for me to go prolonged periods without posting anything, but this time I had a reason.
Still, life goes on…..until it doesn’t.