Perhaps an odd thing to be thinking about walking the dog, although bearing in mind the date, maybe not.
My brother-in-law died seven years ago today. He was 54.
It was a shock for everyone, and for me, the catalyst for my trip to NZ to see Bro.
Life is short, and we never know what’s around the corner, yet we still keep putting things off until well, really, it can be too late.
My paternal grandfather died in February 1974. It was unexpected, especially as my mother’s father had been so poorly. It was the first time I saw my Dad cry, slumped on the bed with my Mum’s arms around him. I didn’t know what to do so left them alone.
I remember the local electoral candidates doing the rounds and one got an absolute earful from my Dad as he was trying to arrange a funeral and get to grips with his loss.
I’ll give the guy his due, he dropped his cheesy ‘vote for me’ attitude and became a decent human being in the blink of an eye.
Whilst visiting Mum on Friday, my sister took a phone call. Her father-in-law has been in hospital for several weeks, and had sadly passed away. I didn’t know him that well, and can only really remember how he let me down in July 1977 by retracting his offer of his Daimler as my wedding car the night before the wedding. My BIL stayed up all night spraying his own vehicle white for the day, and he acted as my chauffeur. Ha, I recall he took a wrong turn and we ended up going round the Co-Op car park in all my finery, waving at the onlookers like some kind of under training Queen.
He made me feel like one actually.
It has been a bit of a joke over the years how family come out of the woodwork at funerals, generating false platitudes of caring for the departed when they could never be bothered to visit whilst they were alive.
I have known people say not to buy flowers when they pass as they would rather have them when they are alive to see them. We tend to give flowers to certain people a lot, and for no reason either.
Losing a family member or close friend is painful, yet we all handle our grief differently.
Hubby and I have an understanding that when our turn comes, we want no pomp and ceremony. He wants to be dressed in joggers, woolly jumper, body warmer, benny hat and gloves and cremated (black bin bag preferred). No church service, just a private farewell and off he’ll go. For me, I want singing (not All Things Bright and Beautiful!!) by Il Divo, and to be dressed similarly to Hubby but wearing my Dad’s cardy, with the pockets full of dog biscuits ready for my encounters at Rainbow Bridge.
Have you ever thought how sometimes the death of a beloved pet affects us harder and deeper than that of a relative?
I guess because they have been in our lives 24/7 whereas in our adult lives, relatives are in a way ‘part time’.
They (whoever ‘they’ are, have you ever thought about that?) say that Time is a great healer. I can go along with that to a degree, but that void left is never filled, never fully healed over, and Time just allows us to ‘accept’ and carry on.
Something will trigger a memory or circumstance and the wound is refreshed, though perhaps not quite as deeply or take us as long to recover. I guess that’s what memories are, reminders of what was, good or bad, compared to how things are now.
A death in the family is always hard for those left behind, they who have to sort things out, make arrangements and smooth over any ruffles, ignoring family politics.
My thoughts are of course with the family, which include my nieces and their children, at the loss of a father, grandparent, great grandparent and since 2013, a great great grandparent. RIP.