Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten days on – still standing.

The sudden bursts of emotion are manageable – healing almost, except tears and make- up cause me real smarting pain – but that is diminishing.  No the baddies are the moments of bleak despair or blind panic.  The great comfort apart from my back- up of family, friends and my blog mates is that I still feel MTL is just in the next room – certainly close by, and I hope to keep that feeling as long as possible.

I put a letter in his casket and thought – that is the last letter I’ll write to him, but who says so?  I shall talk and write to him whenever I wish.  Type written of course – neither of us can read my handwriting.

 It wasn’t the cancer.  With the help of our surgeon and oncologist we beat that and the surgeon said every test he had after the treatment was negative.
It was a pulmonary embolus.  I asked the coroner if we could have done anything to stop it.  He said no.  I asked if there would have been any pain.  He said yes but not for long.  So up until an hour or so before the end he was still enjoying life – still being chatted up by old ladies at the supermarket.
It’s ironic – as I told the coroner - for the first time for ages I had cooked him a steak pie with puff pastry and had to scold him as he was serving it and sampling it at the same time.

Coroner: Did you have some?

Pat:  Yes – it was delicious.

Coroner:  Then I think we can discount the pie.

 MTL would have appreciated that.
The emergency services were exemplary.  In my panic we were cut off as I was speaking to the operator but she must have traced my call and they arrived within ten minutes.  I think it was too late then but they worked tirelessly.  They didn’t want to leave me alone and were anxious I should phone family.  Then a policeman came - a most caring man who offered to remove MTL’s wedding ring which I have on a chain round my neck.  He even offered to clear every thing up – but I wouldn’t let him.  The ambulance woman said her father had recently died and her step-mother didn’t let her know for a few hours and she regretted that.
That galvanised me and I phoned Australia, France, America, London, Norfolk and Wiltshire and before lunch time I had family with me.

Our French son arrived and said he would stay as long as it took.  The boys have learned well from their father and it was noticed as they wandered round the kitchen it was like having two MTLs.  Our French son even dealt with the enormous bouquets being delivered.  One of them was from my childhood friend Elsie who lived next door in Rossendale.  We were 2 year olds together.  Her Dad had lost a leg in WW1 and when he died I had just started nursing and took a bunch of freesia next door.  It was the days when the deceased lay in their home until the funeral and Elsie put the freesia in her father’s hands.  When she ordered the bouquet for me she insisted there should be freesia and how lovely is the fragrance.  I’m burbling aren’t I?

Routine is a lifesaver – regular sleep, meals, tea and coffee breaks – avoiding tiredness as much as possible, and fresh air with Horlicks and Quiet Life at bedtime.
Anything for a quiet mind.

More later.



John Greenwood said...

You burble as much as you like. My Dad has Mum's wedding ring on his little finger, so it's good that you can keep a part of MTL close to you.
Your friends will always be near, as will the small army of bloggie mates you have amassed!
Loads of love,
John. xxx

rosneath said...

Dear Pat,
I'd guessed it must have been something extremely sudden from your posts etc., the coroner sounds as if he was a lovely kind man and just what you needed. You seem to be surrounded by loving, kind people and support to keep you going.
I am glad that the lack of a pastry thingy in your pie was not a contributory factor.
And how kind of Elsie ... you are blessed.
Hugs and love
ps nearly lost this comment due to clicking on something silly - phew it was still there - when you write from the heart it is horrible to have to do it again ...

Pat said...

Belleek: there has been an abundance if loving kindness and I am blessed.
I made two pies and our French son very bravely had some the next night and it passed muster so I shall make it again with my new pie funnel.

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Pat, I wish I could write as spontaneously as your friend Rosneath. You seem to be coping very well indeed, and you obviously have many friends around you. I must watch my typing. I just wrote that you have meany friends around you. You are in our constant thoughts and prayers. I suppose the best answer is that old truism - one day at a time.
Love, Mike and Ann.

Scarlet Blue said...

Yes, I agree with John, burbling is probably a very healthy thing to do. You're a writer, it's your way.

Krimo said...

Hugs from a warm-hearted cold North East, Pat.
Cooking is usually my saviour when I am down. The dishes, aromas, tastes never fail to stir delicious memories of times past. The instant feedback of smacked lips and empty plates is like a healing hug.
May your pies as delicious as your writing and as crisp as your humour.


it's so wonderful to hear that you've those loving arms of family and friends there - and of course, we all stand ready here, arms and hearts open -

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Pat, my dear...So good of you to share what happened. I figured it had to be something other than the cancer because you had just written about being at the Market...It's good to know that he did not suffer for very long, my dear....I'm so glad your French son is there with you, and will stay for as long as you need him to....

There is great great comfort in writing to your dear dear MTL and talking to him, too....Whatever gives you comfort, my dear Pat---
Your story of your oldest friend Elsie and what she sent, is very touching.
You are much loved Pat, and though that cannot change the terrible loss that you have suffered, it can cushion it a little bit.
Sending Loving Healing Hugs, my dear...

The Unbearable Banishment said...

It's awfully nice to see you write. I kept checking for updates but assumed you'd get around to it when you were damn good an ready and not a day sooner. As always, all good wishes to you. This is a lovely post. You sound good, although I know how ridiculous that must sound. I don't know you at all, really. I'm not a churchy kind of guy but I went to St. Patrick's as promised. There's a candle alight there for you.

Z said...

Darling Pat, you're so thoughtful that you even remembered to warn us you'd be away for a few days, even in all your grief and anxiety.

Macy said...

Thinking of you lots and lots Pat. Of course it's absolutely no consolation now, but at least YTL was at home, with you, and with only a short pain.
Take care

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

He'll be there as long as you want him to be. I still talk to my nan and she died in 1980. Banjo will be gone a year tomorrow. Her FB page is still open and people still leave her messages.

SDC said...

You're an amazing woman Pat. What a beautiful couple you made. The story of you and he puts a lump in my throat when I think about it. I'm glad you are making every effort to carry on and that you have such an awesome support system in the way of friends and family.

Pat said...

John : thank you. I like a good burble:)

Mike and ann: the mereny friends made me smile. Sometimes it's half a day at a time but so far I'm coping.

Scarlet: thank you. Be preparedfor more burbling.

Krimo: I am finding all the little household tasks soothing. And I am finding cooking satisfying.
And I loved your kind words.

Gypsy : than you. I know and take great vcomfort from it.

Naomi: our French son is in Moscow just now but will be back here before long.
At times like this - as you well know - blogging and all it entails is a spirit lifter.
Yes Elsie is a good Laancashire lass.

UB: I was so glad about St Patrick's. MTL and I - way back in the eighties - lit a candle there when his neice was tragically killed in a flying accident.
In return for introducing me to the wonderful Jane Gardham try Bernadine Bishop -
'Unexpected Lessons in Love.'

Z: it was all I could think of to do. There are so many things to remember just now and I hope I will be forgiven if I forget to thank someone - or even inform someone of what has happened. I must go through the Christmas card list and I hopesoon to be back reading blogs. I do make time for Scrabble - it occupies my mind.

Macy: it is a consolation that he died at home and the more I think of it the more I realise that is how he would want to go. Me too.

Daphne: yes my Mum and Gran are never far away but they have to make way for MTL.
They live on in our hearts.
I thought about pancakes today but there was the last piece of the chocolate pudding/cake to eat

Pat said...

All: sorry about the errors - I'm getting careless.

Pat said...

SDC: thank you. I have to be strong. I've been taught by masters.

mapstew said...

Pat, you are such a big part of my life, my daughters ask for a daily update. know that you are loved by your Irish family too. :¬)

savannah said...

You burble on all you like, darling! As everyone before has said, we're here for you, as you have been here for all of us. xoxoxox

The Cloudcutter said...

You are the epitome of grace under pressure, or grief as the case may be.

I always wish the best for you.

Take care.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Oh dear Pat... I've been off line too long and although I gathered from FB it was this that had happened, it still breaks my heart. Burbling is all part of the healing so you go right ahead. I love the photos Kim took of you and YTL. Such a handsome couple. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Rog said...

You have a lovely positive outlook always Pat.

I think "suddenly at home" is how we'd all like to go. After the last 18 months of my mother in and out of hospital dying and in pain it seems even more so.
But "sudden" does make it a lot harder on those left behind who haven't had months to get used to idea.

Pat said...

Map: that's nice. My Gran came from Ballyna. I loved the song on F.B.

Savannah: thank you sweet Savannahxoxox

CC: so glad to have your good wishes.

Pnita: thank you. I've missed you.

Rog: what you say about endings is true but the more I think about it the more I think that both of us had a glimmer that our time together was coming to an end.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I passed on this news to my mother and she says to send you lots of love and hugs.

I'm glad you're not alone, that you have so many loving people in your life. We're all here for you in any way we can be.

I emailed you as soon as I found out, thanks to JohnG, I couldn't leave a comment, then finally did and it was signed *neena*, I don't know how.

Hugs hugs hugs hugs hugs

Nea said...

Burble, babble and blubble just as much as you like... not that I noticed any burbling in the post.


I'm going to try sending you a red rose for tomorrow:
Don't know if that worked or not, but here's a whole bunch:

Pat said...

GG:lots of loveto you and your Mother and thank you for your good thoughts.

Nea: that is a lovely idea Nea. I've kept all the cards MTL ever sent but there is one very special one which I shall give pride of place to tomorrow.

Eryl said...

You're not burbling at all; your writing is wonderful, and you seem so abundantly able, if that makes sense.

Pat said...

Eryl: writing is a release - as I'm sure you know. Apart from that I'm floundering inside.

LL Cool Joe said...

You do whatever it takes to get through this.

Making those phone calls to your family must have been about the hardest thing you ever done. I'm glad your family were there for you so quickly.

Pat said...

Joey: thinking about the impact it would have on them helped me to keep fairly calm. Strength comes from above - as you know.

Bernie said...

Dear Pat,

Reading this post, albeit late, has bought many tears and memories back to me... I share your loss, as my wife Louise, pregnant at 12 weeks with twins, also died of a Pulmonary Thromboembolism, Pulmonary Embolus...

In the same way, the news came from the coroner, the ambulance crew cleaned up the bits and pieces left behind (there was three ambulances that arrived that April day 2009 - one took Louise with 4 paramedics, one took me with one paramedic whilst the last paramedic cleaned up, locked up and came to the hospital)... They fought hard, but alas, to no avail...

It is never an easy time to go through grief of losing a loved one, especially if that loved one is a partner, a husband a wife...

I am sending you, and your family and friends, the deepest of sympathy for your loss, the strength to carry through the dark times ahead, and the peace in knowing, that he is at rest and peace...