Melancholy Moments and a Surreal Sign

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Friday 27th March

I am trying so hard to be strong. To find a way forward, thinking of all the positive times, the laughs, jokes and smiles, the happy adventures and fun we had.

But our son is no longer with us to share these experiences any more. Testicular cancer has claimed his wonderful life. My husbands’ emotions go from utter despair to complete anger. I am just sad and feel helpless.

I phone the registrar’s office this morning, trying to keep my voice in check, but it eventually falters, and I end up in tears again. Talking over the phone, trying to be factual and unemotional when registering the death of your son is awful. A horrible thing to have to do. We make an appointment for next Wednesday. Why do these things take so long organise? We have to endure yet more waiting.

Not long after putting the phone down, it rings again. This time it’s the funeral director just checking we’re doing ok, to tell us that he is on the end of the phone day or night, and gently remind us to think about the clothes in which we want our son dressed. I do need to do this, as I so much want to visit him in the Chapel of Rest.

In the afternoon we take our younger son shopping for a suitable suit to wear at the funeral. As he is trying on various jackets and trousers, our GP phones me to discuss what he has been able to find out. Apparently our son suffered catastrophic cardiac arrhythmia. This was probably brought on by a gastric bleed, as three pints of blood were found in his stomach. But what is so confusing is that there was no indication of anything amiss. But the doctor did say that it would have been a peaceful, instantaneous death. As the covers on the bed were tucked around him gently, with no indication of thrashing about, he wouldn’t have known any pain. Of that, there is some comfort. Although he says it is just conjecture, the combination of the chemotherapy and steroids probably led to this dreadful outcome.

Having completed our shopping we walk over to a bookstore that has a coffee shop upstairs. We sit over in a far corner, beside a big window, overlooking the street below. Suddenly a pigeon flew in. It had come in through the front door, up the stairs, and made straight for us. It banged on to the window pane and then settled for a moment on my husband’s shoulder. There was no great flapping of wings or noise. It then flew between us, under the table and landed on the floor. Two men came along to rescue it, and one of them knelt down and gently scooped it up in his hands. No fuss, no drama. It was as if our elder son had come along, and wanted a coffee with us. So surreal, yet another sign that he is still around us, close by, watching over all that we do.

The evening sees us again with our younger son, being fed and served many cups of tea.

Really don’t know what we’d do without him and his girlfriend right now. They give us so much reason to get out, have some fresh air, walk and discuss things that we might otherwise just keep to ourselves.

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