Strange new world…

Hello. It’s been a while. A month and a half to be precise and look how everything has changed. It feels like we are in the middle of a disaster movie, only there aren’t any Hollywood A-listers to be seen and it won’t all be okay when the lights go back on.

Apologies for my absence. My father died. As you can imagine, it was an intense and upsetting time and then my sisters and I found ourselves having to arrange a funeral. This was a new experience for us all and unlike a wedding, it has to be done in a matter of weeks.

There hasn’t been much time for grief as the admin when somebody dies is immense. My own paperwork is a shambles, so trying to get on top of my Dad’s too has been a struggle.

Now though, I am glad he went when he did, on Valentine’s Day this year. I can’t imagine how awful it would be if he were still clinging on and having to undergo regular hospital admissions. The thought of him lying there dying with loved ones unable to hold his hand is unbearable. This is happening to people. I read about it today in a Facebook group and all I could do to help was send a poxy love heart emoji.

Being with my father for his final days (he spent 8 in a coma with not a drop of water or a morsel of food) was a lesson in dying. It was something I have always feared, but thanks to my year with Marion and the love bomb experience I had last September, which opened my eyes to who and what I really am, it wasn’t terrifying as expected.

I hated seeing my father suffer and willed him to let go. I spent days on end peering at him and counting his breaths, only for him to go and pop his clogs when I nipped out for lunch with some friends. He clearly wanted to be spared yet more hand wringing drama.

He was so dead when I returned. I mean really dead. I have never seen a corpse before and was shocked by how dead he looked. You may notice I am saying the D word a lot. I have realised that people avoid it, preferring to say ‘passed’ or ‘lost’, but they feel a bit namby pamby. He was most definitely dead.

Because he died at home, it took ages to have the death certified, so we stayed with his body for about 5 hours. We sat around it eating pizza and laughing. My sister and I were morbidly curious. Every so often, we would touch his forehead or feel around for warm patches. I noticed his fingertips were blue. I picked up his limp hand – it was his alright, only it wasn’t. Dad had gone. I don’t know where, but that body was not him.

Strangely, I could feel a deep stillness in the room, as if the veil between this world and the next had grown thinner. It was there in the house, a week later, when I popped in to pick up the post. I thought I would hate going back to his home without him in it, but the atmosphere felt oddly reassuring.

My higher self likes to talk to me in images and when I asked him what he thought of the other side, a picture of some bananas sprang to mind. It made me laugh. Dad had no time for afterlife nonsense and thought my ideas on oneness and consciousness were crackpot. I can just imagine him dancing around in the astral plane, declaring ‘This is bananas!’

I am deeply sad that Dad is gone, but I feel okay about it. I made a slide show for the funeral. There were pictures from his birth to his death. It made me see in black and white, and colour, that his was a life well lived. It was full of love, laughter and adventure. It wasn’t overcomplicated either. He was a great role model. I’d like my own life to be more like his.

So, there I was, feeling okay about things when along comes the dreaded C word. It triggered a lot of fear for me, but not of illness. My biggest worry has been going broke because work is drying up faster than toilet roll supplies.

Many of my friends feel the same. Others are worried about elderly relatives or their own deaths. Everybody is afraid. Marion said on an e-mail that it is as if the whole world is going through a Journey process. I know what she means.

It does feel as if this was meant to be. It is like our generation’s dark night of the soul. We are entering a place of darkness where we have no control. We can’t distract ourselves with the usual addictions either – nobody is going to restaurants, pubs, shops etc. Some of us have watched almost everything on Netflix (yes, it’s THAT serious). We are sat at home having to face ourselves. The good news is, the planet can breathe again, rampant consumerism has skidded to a halt and busyness is so yesterday.

I was due to go out with some wonderful friends for my birthday on April 2nd. I have now suggested we hang out online in our pyjamas drinking gin. I am very much a people person and going without social contact is going to be trying.

But all is not lost. The birds are still singing, the blossom smells fabulous and human kindness is very much there in all the madness. Also, I guess that now I am confined to barracks with not much to do, I may as well sit here and write…. Stay safe and well folks!



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