mixed bag
more on Da


I’ve never been a lover of the telephone, have you? Ever since I answered the phone when I was 12 to my distraught aunt - she’d found my uncle collapsed after a heart attack. No, it’s reserved for arrangements, and long conversations only when a face-to-face is not possible. So it was a mercy that the JB answered my phone last night. My brother was on; my father had died at the hospital.

He’d been there for six weeks, since the last time I posted, he had fluid around the heart after a fall in June, but after diuretics recovered slowly from that, then they wanted to investigate a polyp and other relatively minor things were discovered, and it dragged on and on, his recovery seemed to lag, and then he seemed a bit better, on Sunday. Sitting up in his chair, finally. It had been long enough for the dashing up and down the N11 to visit a few times a week to seem like normality. We’d bring his favourite treats, (dates, and biscuits and at some point this became a tradition of a Magnum ice-cream everyday at 2pm. One time I brought him two, not sure which flavour he’d prefer, and he ate one, paused, and ate the other.) put Nivea on his face and hands. Talk a little, interact with the friendly staff. I cut his hair once with the clippers, I’m glad to say - I wouldn’t want my Da to look neglected or unloved.

The JB came upstairs last night with the unenviable task of telling me the news. It was 10.30pm, I was in bed, listening to a podcast. He told me gently, he's kind. It seemed, still does, unreal. I cried.

Brother went down to say goodbye last night, but I didn’t want to. I want to remember my Da walking purposefully in his everlasting shoes to his office after a long 1970’s style work lunch, all sideburns, plans and high energy.



I'm so sorry - what is the world without your dad in it? I'm glad he got to meet Jay. And I'm glad you have the JB there to help you through.


So sorry to hear this. My dad died this April, and it's been so tough. Still is.
Sending you love. Love is the only thing that keeps us afloat.


Sending a huge hug. I'm so sorry.


Thank you all, that's so nice. xx


Very sorry. The world changes after the loss of a parent. It's hard. Many hugs.

Valery Valentina

oh no, poor Da, poor Ma. Crying gentle tears for you.
Only saw your post this evening, the house quiet, the canal shimmering softly in the dark.
Thinking of you.
from Amsterdam with Love,


Oh Twangy! I'm so sorry he's gone. Your rituals of love are perfect and beautiful, and I'm glad you were able to have them, so that he must have known how cherished he was. I wish he'd been able to come home and you could have had many more years together. I am also so grateful Jay got some time with him, and he got some time with Jay. (I remember my own "your dad is dead" phone call experience. It's an utterly surreal way to learn the news, but I suspect there's no way that feels real.) Much love to all of you.

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