Death and the high cost of still living

My dad died last spring. He was 91 and had been suffering with Dementia and a shopping list of life-threatening and life-hampering conditions for many years before that. I was sad to see him go, but relieved he was no longer suffering.

His sister, the last of my family’s elder generation, died a few weeks ago (at time of writing) on Christmas Day. She was 94, and like her brother, had been battling Dementia. Again, it was upsetting, but a relief that she wasn’t ill any more.

But why am I writing this? Not to just reel off relatives that I’ve lost in the last twelve months. The short answer is, I don’t know.

It’s just always on my mind. It’s always there, in the forefront of everything I do. I’m going shopping (your dad’s dead), I sit down to watch TV (your Aunt died at Christmas), I visit friends (you’ll never visit your family home again as someone else lives there now). It’s like the gloomiest, most incessant back seat driver ever. Always present, always niggling, and always commenting on everything, irrespective of relevance or context. I’m washing up (your father died sad, scared and alone in a hospital bed).

Because it is always on my mind, it felt like something I should write about on my blog. All the best writers bare their souls and find catharsis in putting figurative pen to virtual paper. But when I came to start writing this, I didn’t know what to share with you. All I knew was that I needed to share… and that I felt/feel incredibly guilty for still being alive.


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