Saturday, April 9, 2011

F is for Funeral Director

I picked up my brother today. They gave him to me in a shoe-box size container inside a nice blue carrier bag, bio-degradable, of course. He felt surprisingly heavy considering that when he went into hospital on November 3rd, after a fall, he'd weighed only 38kg. I wonder if there's someone else in there with him. Maybe it's the metal pins and rods that held his hip together. They were the source of the septicaemia that eventually took him, over a period of just five days, despite him having made a good recovery from the fall.

I remember the day he was born in the front bedroom of a tiny house in outer Manchester. I was four years old and I'd run all the way home from school as my grandmother had walked up the hill to tell me that I had a baby brother. On the sideboard was a large brown paper bag and I was convinced that he'd arrived in that. Now, here he is again, in a 21st century bag this time. And a lifetime has been and gone.

The emotions associated with mourning are confusing. Guilt, anger, sadness, regret, frustration -  but also a host of happy memories. I know from experience that these feelings will settle down in time, and the painful images that keep me awake at night, of his last days in hospital, will eventually fade. It's not good to try to rush the process. I will be gentle with myself. 'For I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...'   (Robert Frost)


1 comment:

  1. It's normal to feel great sadness about the tragic deaths and I think any caring person will. But life must go on without your beloved one. That's life.

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