It was little over four years ago when my Dad passed away, Bev and I in close attendance as we'd moved into his home to ensure we were able to keep a promise that he'd die in his own bed, as Mum had done in Feb 2013. When Bev's father passed away it was, sadly, in a hospital ward (superbly cared for as is only possible by our NHS staff) - not a situation which allows for the intensity (Bev was there on her own!) of those final moments at a very personal level. Now we are very close to the end chapter with her Mum. Sunday lunch time had an ambulance crew summoned, by the carers, with the resultant decision that hospital was an unnecessary option under the circumstances. Denise's body is in shutdown mode, the stroke she's survived last weekend just a preliminary to a series of symptoms which will only have one result! Mid-day, today, another ambulance crew were called, as directed by the folk at the NHS 111 service, because we thought she was suffering a third heart attack. Ultimately the route we have to negotiate involves the medical professionals coming into our bungalow to administer the drugs (morphine) which ensure that Denise is not in any pain during this final act. Absolutely gutting to have to witness the demise of a loved one, Bev and I will come through this, as a couple, stronger because of the experience. How long have we got? I have absolutely no idea. Denise has been stubbornly fighting off every ailment thrown her way; she should be subject of a bloody t/v documentary! The hardest part of this whole process is the fact that the clearest memories will be those from the very last stages of life. My Mum lying. open mouthed, staring into nothingness, Dad, still warm, curled up like a young child, but smiling. How does that work? Some day, very soon, Bev will open the living room door to discover such a scene. If it were an animal involved you'd. rightly, be prosecuted for cruelty, but euthanasia is a criminal offence? How does this crazy situation still exist in a world where the God Squad have been found to be a complete fabrication? I'm 100% behind spirituality - the Holy Fairy Tale - stick it where the sun don''t shine! Both my parents were devout Christians and it was their faith that saw them face the final farewell without any regrets. Whilst I'm able to draw comfort from this knowledge, I can't buy into the concept of a supernatural power, with all encompassing knowledge, allowing atrocities to be perpetrated under the banner of faith? Homo sapiens will f*ck up the planet, they don't require a God to be anything other than the mighty dollar - elitist greed is more of a danger to our existence than anything Covid-19 threatens.
I've just re-read this, to find myself smiling at the intensity of my feelings and the fact that I've written the post without any influence beyond a personal level. When I was at school I resented any pressure to express myself, beyond that boundary of subject matter contained within the curriculum. If only I'd had the intelligence to recognise the gifts I was being given? My English teacher, at Halsey Secondary Modern, Hemel Hempstead, was Ms. Sue Llewellyn and only now am I able to recognise the incredible debt of gratitude owed. Mum and Dad were school teachers - she was an inspiration, if only I had the brains to see the gifts on offer. All I can say is that if ever "hindsight" appears on the curriculum options - grab it with both hands, it's an amazing thing!