Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you,
For an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just around the corner
All is Well
Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)
We got a phone call this morning at about 10am to say that the FH's cousin was dying, and the FH left immediately to go to his home to be with him in his last hours. J has been a bit like an older brother to the FH all his life; he was about 10 or 12 years older than the FH, and has had an interesting life. In his later years, his health deteriorated badly - he has had a leg amputated because of long term diabetes complications, he has had heart problems, and when I went to see him a month or so ago, he was blind and almost deaf, confined to a wheelchair, and had had a couple of strokes. The FH saw him more recently than that, but the news this morning was that he had pneumonia, had had a heart attack last week and was heavily sedated with morphine. He has been cared for at home through all of this by his long term partner, B, who has been amazing to be able to cope with all that she has had to manage. She has had some carers in latterly to help her, but she has always been the main carer for him.
I rang them at lunchtime to find out how they were doing, and the FH was just going to go off to the surgery to get some more morphine, and the doctor had been out and indicated that J's life would come to its end within the next 24 hours.
This afternoon, the FH rang me at 6pm to say that J had passed away within the last half an hour, and that they were waiting for a doctor to come to certify death. The FH will stay with B for a while, as she has relatives coming from Norfolk to be with her, and he will wait for them to arrive before he leaves.
I am very sad that J has left us, but I cannot be sad that his pain and suffering has come to an end.