Two and a half years ago I received a call one Sunday morning from my Dad, barely comprehensible, telling me that Mum was dead. I had gone upstairs to where Mike was still dozing and said, barely believing the words I was saying, "Umm, my Mum is dead..can you drive me over there?". So last Sunday, when my phone rang and I saw it was my aunt, who had texted me the night before asking if I had spoken to my Dad, a little alarm rang in my head. This time it was my aunt telling me my Dad was dead. Up the stairs to Mike, the same surreal seeming words, this time applied to my Dad. The same short silent drive over to my Dad's house. Last time there were just paramedics, this time it's police, several of them. We can't go in at first, but before long they ask for someone to make an official identification. I need to see him for myself, say I will do it and my brother comes too. He is in bed. He doesn't look to have suffered. It seems he has died some time between Friday night and Saturday morning. I have seen enough. I leave the room.
Later his body is removed by the undertakers and we go home. He was 60. My Mum died at 58.
Mum had had heart operations, a kidney transplant, a stroke and gout and well, she was fucking tough. When the transplant kidney failed, she knew the options were running out, but she battled on. It was question of sooner rather than later and she had a massive stroke that Sunday morning. Dad's death is a total shock. I saw him last Wednesday. I went over at least once a week to spend the morning with him. Chatting, looking at stuff on the internet, laughing. Our relationship had matured over the previous year and there had been some serious discussions about the past and Mum and how we had reacted to situations. He had finally stopped being a Dad and had become a friend. I am so very happy we had that time together. It appears that his heart stopped working properly, causing his lungs to fill with fluid. Apparently it was quick, though a part of me thinks they probably say that to everyone if they can, but I guess I WANT to believe that anyway. The evidence does seem to say that he didn't know it was happening. I'm happy he had had a good day, just as I was sorrowful my Mum had had to go through so much pain. I am sorrowful my Dad has died just as the plans he had made finally seemed to be happening. He was moving on and was beginning to enjoy life again. Referring to his moving house, the last thing I said to him was " Don't go without telling me, will you!" "As if", he replied. He did though and I will miss him.