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Friday, 3 March 2017

Day 9 – 'At Peace', Tears and A Lovely Surprise!

My Mother received a phone call this morning from John Lincoln Funeral Directors to let us know that Father was 'ready for viewing'. This news made me feel very anxious – did I want to see him? Or could I live with my last memory of him, having just passed away at Summerville House Care Home? I decided that I needed to see him, to say my last goodbyes. Mother couldn't decide if she wanted to or not – I said nothing. We all deal with this dilemma differently – some people simply can't bear the thought of seeing their loved ones in this state and some need to have that final goodbye.

Father funeral notice was in the free 'Your Local Paper' today and later this evening I noticed the notice was on-line in the Eastern Daily Press (in paper tomorrow on Saturday)

The day kicked off with taking Mother food shopping, which wasn't a happy occasion – she was in a very stressed bad mood and was getting angry with me for no particular reason in the middle of the supermarket, which got lots of head turning from other shoppers! Not a good morning at all and the day spiralled out of control until later on.

We went home to Holme and had a quick lunch. Returned to Hunstanton with appointment at the bank to inform them that Father had died, form filling etc etc. Then we parked outside John Lincoln F/D and sat in the car for a few moments to collect our thoughts. My mother decided she did want to see him and that in any case I couldn't go in alone, so in we went. Jacquie the lovely lady who came out to see us on Monday greeted us. We delayed going in the room where he was for a while and chatted to Jacquie in the reception area, where I noticed some booklets about turning a very tiny amount of someone's ashes into jewellery – – initially I thought this was a weird thing to do, but then decided that actually it sounded really nice, but an incredibly expensive thing to do!

We were led into the room where Father was and as I expected, I broke down as soon as I saw him. My mother rarely cries and was much more controlled than me and said 'they had done a really good job' and that he looked lovely' – they had indeed. I have seen newly deceased patients at the hospital before and obviously this is very difficult to see, but I realised that this was the first time I have seen someone that has been dead for quite a while – its very, very different. So cold to touch, it made you gasp. I put my hand under his and the cold was unbearable. They had dressed him neatly in the clothes that Vivien and I had chosen and he was surrounded by a beautiful blue silky material in the coffin. He looked at peace at last and had been beautifully and respectfully looked after, thank you. I didn't say goodbye, as I realised I have to see father again – Lucy wants to see him and obviously I can't let her do that alone – that will be far more difficult than today. Poor Vivien is torn, she doesn't know if she wants to remember him like this, very difficult making this decision.

We sat in the reception for a good while, chatting about the Order of Service booklet that we need to decide on and compile with their assistance. I waited until I had recovered enough, so that I could drive my Mother and I home safely. Back at Holme, we both collapsed with mental exhaustion and fell asleep. I woke up in a irritable mood, had cheese on toast and returned to King's Lynn just in time to pick Lucy up to take her to orchestra rehearsal.

The day improved greatly in the evening, when my work colleague Sarah B. invited me to join her and Kelly L. at her house (walking distance from my house) for the evening. I took up their kind offer, but part of me just wanted to curl up like a hedgehog and hibernate!

Sarah has a dog called Murphy, who seems to have calmed down considerably since I last saw him as a boisterous puppy, which was good for my stress levels – I'm not good with dogs as I'm sure you all know. I was offered some wine, but had to pick Lucy up later, so only had 1/4 of a glass. It was probably a good job I was driving, as I could have easily consumed large amounts of alcohol after the last week! It was nice chatting with 'normal' people and seeing their smiley faces, both lovely girls. I left about 9.30am to go and pick Lucy up and take her home and as I did so, Sarah and Kelly surprised me with some very kind presents and flowers from everyone at work!

A huge thank you to all my wonderful work colleagues for my lovely bouquet of flowers, a food hamper bag full of my favourites foods (they know me so well). The dark chocolate ginger biscuits were very nice, about three left in the box now! Bless Chloe for remembering my fav soya desserts, I couldn't believe what was in there! Vege tart, pizza, veg soup, two big bottles of the 'Innocent' Drinks, ginger cookies, bunch of bananas!!! Words fail me (makes a change) and a lovely sympathy card with beautiful words from everyone. It made an especially difficult day, end in smiles and laughter. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Love, hugs and kisses to you all, Penny xxx

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