This is a photo I took of my parents’ joint funeral.
Unbelievably, they both died in the same week, in their sleep, aged 86 and 84. My dad had had a stroke a year previously and hadn’t been doing too well, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected when I got a phone call one morning saying he hadn’t woken up.
You imagine ahead to your traditional dinner: you know what you will be eating, you know who you will be celebrating with, you know where you will be – but suddenly your heart drops. This year there will be an empty chair round that table.
Christmas, much like the other holidays, is a time when people look forward to the comforting nature of tradition, but when a death happens, the tradition is disrupted.
“I know I should be doing it, I know it’s a good idea, but I just keep putting it off!” Ever heard that cry coming out of your own mouth, or from someone you know?
“I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!” This is such a common phrase, even if we just think it to ourselves, rather than say it out loud. Usually, it’s an invitation, Usually, it’s an invitation…
8 years ago, after a year of dealing with stomach cancer, my husband passed away. As any widow knows, this is an utterly devastating thing to happen, even if you are towards the end of your life…
I never thought about death much, other than as a concept, until my husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. Then it made its entrance with a bang. Even though he was 65, it felt far too young to be contemplating death.
Alone. Head in hands. Sobbing. Unable to understand what to do next. Unable to take in what had just happened, or to perceive how her life would now pan out. Distraught, and yet needing to keep the family together…