And so it goes, indeed.
Saturday morning at 3.30am the good, honest heart of KDiddy finally ceased beating. Even now, after all the rigmarole of the funeral and attendant rituals, there is an air of unreality about this fact. In the end, they think he got a hospital bug that he simply could not fight because of his other health problems. Such a sad, regretful thing. If only, if only.
I was proud of how gracious and quietly humorous JB was at the wake, wearing his Dad's nice tweed sportscoat, shaking the many mourners' hands. All the townspeople came. KDid had lived in that small town on the edge of the world for all his long - almost 80 - years, and those many friends and acquaintances, some of whom had known him all his life, or all theirs, were drawn to the wake, mobilised by the local radio station, many with a lifelong history with KDid. We must have shaken over a 100 hands at the wake, so many that patterns would emerge in the faces leaning in to say they were sorry - so many that you'd start to think that hey, haven't you already been around?
All sorts of people came, young and old. Of course other people loved him too - I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me. He had this pure child-like presence, this kind of innocence and modesty that appealed to everyone. He was funny. He was handsome. I remember whenever we'd go to visit him, he'd be in the kitchen with his tie and jacket on, always beautifully shaved and smelling of Imperial Leather. He was cool. He'd wear dark glasses in the summer and keep a straightface for the camera. He was scrupulous. Humble, tolerant. He had a map of the world on the kitchen wall, and that was what he wanted for his boys, the world - he was a great friend to them. He taught them everything they needed to know.
Ha. The JB hasn't lost his sense of humour. We had an hour to buy some funeral-appropriate clothes in the small town where the county hospital was - we had nothing with us. I hastily bought a desperate black mac that has a weird smell in Penneys and Johnny grabbed some trousers. He didn't have time to try them on so when we were getting ready for the funeral, we had this hysterical moment where he tried to pour himself into them - they were painted on, I don't know how he ever knelt down in them. So there we were all scruffy and thrown together, him in his drainpipes and a tie of his father's and me in my malodorous coat and office trousers with the wrong sort of shoes, and JB's brother and his girlfriend were all decked out in sunglasses and immaculate black suits, like Hollywood stars. Oh dear.
After the funeral, there was a few hang sangwiches and soup in a local hotel, more stories with friends. Some people came all the way from Dublin, including Brother, and Sister1 and Sister2, a collection of colleagues, all of whom had to leave home at 5am to be there. People were so good. They showed us what to do, ushering us in at the burial, like substitute parents.
And now, I am back in the big smoke, and with the bad timing of which the universe seems to be so inordinately fond, tomorrow we have our home visit with the social worker. The JB is determined to push ahead with it.
So I better go and make the house look like sane people live in it.
Next parish, America.
[Btw, it appears I really do have a cat. P-kitty. She wore me down! I've been buying proper cat food and I made arrangements for Sister1 to feed her while we were away. It's a done deal, isn't it? I do, I have a cat. Drawings soon.]
And so it goes, indeed.
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