My dear husband died on Boxing Day morning. In the end his passing was a blessed relief. He had suffered enough.
He loved his family so much and liked nothing better than being in their company but he had been so ill that it took all his efforts to concentrate on merely existing and he had banned them from visiting. Being family they disobed him but only stayed for a short while so as not to exhaust him.
However, there was a natural coming together on Christmas Day. The children had Secret Santa's to open and their parents had asked if they could be together in our house so we agreed to throw the doors open again. My grandson-in-law said it was like The Waltons and the District Nurse said that she had never seen such as large family. It was good to have life in the house again after so many months of sadness.
OG was kept quietly and safely upstairs in his Hollywood bedroom away from the mellee but they all had an opportunity to spend time with him and, although he was unresponsive, we were told that he could hear everything, including the children's laughter wafting up from below. It was good that they were all able to say their goodbyes, apart from our beautiful grandson Vinnie who works in the Alps and couldn't get back in time. Even the young ones asked to spend time with him which, I hope, will help them to come to terms with his passing.
On Boxing Day morning one of my daughters and I sat either side of his bed, holding his hand, drinking coffee and talking to him and to each other. The subject strayed on to what to do with the Christmas lunch leftovers. I said I had seen an interesting receipt for bubble and squeak and Sara said that Jamie Oliver had cooked bubble and squeak on his TV show once and it looked so good. OG hated Jamie Oliver with a passion and wasn't that enamoured with leftovers (or bubble and squeak either come to think of it) and I think that just tipped him over the edge because I saw a tear trickle down his cheek and he was gone.
The funeral is on 14th January and although it seems a long while to wait he touched the lives of so many people and it will give us the chance to get things organised.
Tonight we have a divi out of the £2 coins he had been saving for the grandchildren. A couple of weeks ago he said that they should count them and share them out this Christmas and we will honour that wish. I will cook a huge steak pie with mashed potatoes and swede in his memory because that was what we always had on New Years Eve and we will remember him with love and laughter. Life goes on.
LOOKING TO HEAVEN - Here is one of the 'apples of my eye'. Rosa, looking to Heaven, as if she has just heard her Nanna Maria calling to her to tell her how much she loves her ...
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