At choir yesterday I asked the lady next to me how her week had been, as you do.
She replied that her brother had died that morning.
Well, I did ask.
She went on to say that after a scheduled operation several days ago, his organs began to close down, one by one. The day before he died, the surgeon had told her brother that he was dying: the brother merely replied “I didn’t expect to come into hospital to be told that, but that’s how it goes. Thank you for everything you have done for me.” He never lost consciousness and talked to his wife and family up to a few minutes before he died.
He leaves a wife ill with terminal cancer who now has to face her own mortality alone. Yet the family is clearly hanging together and supporting each other excellently: the brother had been ill with diabetes for sometime but his prognosis had not been terminal. However he had left all his papers in order and his funeral planned down to the last detail, even to the photo he wanted on the Order of Service, only the date had been left blank.
His sister said both her brother and his wife were the nicest, kindest people, who would have helped anyone. She had sat up with him all the last night, spent that day, after his death, on the phone, and decided to come to choir for a break and to try to take her mind off. Apparantley the doctors had expected her brother to be unable to walk again after the operation on his leg and in fact his ill wife would not have been able to cope with him in a wheelchair: so in one way she felt it had been a blessing but . . . . .
My neighbour believed that one day they would understand the meaning behind these sad events although they are so unhappy now. I could only express a hope that this would come to pass. As we left, she thanked me for my kindness although I did nothing but listen and sympathise.
There is nothing really to say about this very sad story except that sometimes life is shitty and it does one good to remember that in the midst of life is death, so live every minute.
And, of course, if you ask a question, be prepared for an unexpected reply.
Victorian Mourning Brooch