So, it has been a while since my last update, in a very fortunate fall when I talked about both of my parents landing in hospital. A week after this, two events happened on the same day. My Mum who seemed by far the most ill, was well enough to be discharged. A few hours after that my Dad passed away.
In some ways the extra time was a gift. Let’s face it in September 2021 he was discharged from hospital with the purpose of passing away peacefully at home, it would be a matter of weeks, a month or two at best, but no real expectation of making it to Christmas.
He rallied. He gradually went from remaining in pyjamas all day and sleeping in the hospital bed on the ground floor to getting dressed. Then he was heading upstairs to bed. Not only that but getting out and about. He was going on far more trips out than I could only dream of managing.
We spent Christmas Day 2021 together not really talking about the fact that it was probably the last one. It sat there though, unacknowledged. Somehow feeling that this one had to be really memorable, but it was in reality no different from any other.
We sailed through 2022 and on into 2023 and it felt like a mistake. He was going to make it to one hundred after all.
Each day of that week in hospital the message was the same he was going in the right direction but was not out of danger. But we had been there before, he was stubborn, he would rally again and be fine. He would be back out and about. The fact his heart was only working at 5% capacity was just a statistic.
Then suddenly, with no warning (although there had been plenty of warnings that were easy to dismiss) he was not rallying, he did in fact die, sixteen days before his ninetieth birthday.
At this point two things became a reality. First, there was the business of grieving that was completely organic, totally unpredictable, and a month and a half later, only just beginning. Second, all the (what there is of it) estate needs to be sorted out.
At this point I’m trying not to even think about the fact that Mum doesn’t always remember that Dad has gone. There are good moments of complete lucidity, then suddenly she is a quarter of who she was. She lives about an hour away, when you have Fibro that hour’s drive (even as a passenger) can feel like an unsurmountable hurdle.
After over a decade of nudging, cajoling, even nagging, Dad had not made a will. He had always told me that when he made this will (he kept promising to do) I would have to be the executor. So suddenly I was in a position of having to sort everything out.
The funeral was fine, having spent half my life in the Church choir, this was in my comfort zone. The biggest hurdle was, would my Fibromyalgia behave on the day. Thankfully it did. Although I was a complete mess at the beginning and the end, I found my inner metal when I delivered the tribute and held it together.
Now there is the not so simple situation of dealing with all of the involved companies. As one of the companies insist on probate, even though it is below the level that usually requires this, I am hoping I can engage the financial services to take their fee out of the estate as I don’t have any money to pay this up front. Let’s face it the majority of people living with a chronic illness have some degree of financial hardship.
Dealing with business letters (and even worse phone calls) is one of the things that causes anxiety these days. It is a mixture of worrying about general brain fog and even more so the dreaded moments where the word you are about to say totally vanishes and you are left in silence while you scan your brain trying to find it again, outside of the Spoonie community this happening is a real new fear unlocked.
So that is the story of my life in June and early July (2023). Next time, I’m sure I will have something more light hearted for you.
Until next time,