Hi Ladies, sorry I have not been online for a while. It just got a bit manic at work and I had a really annoying cold with a high temperature and its left a cough I can't shake off. Very annoying. Its probably because I was busy at work and also we lost a relative and had a funeral to travel to, as well as trying to support a difficult situation following the death. I was pleased to be a shoulder someone can rely on it but I always carry some of the sadness away with me. A lot of relatives flew in for it, which meant really quite a lot of hard work to make everything go as smoothly as they wanted. It didn't help that I was terribly car sick both journeys and arrived green as green. We have gone straight into another loss this week of a very dear family friend who I cannot ever remember not having in my life. I guess no wonder I can't shake the cold off, hopefully this week it will go. I have another close relative in hospital not expected to do well, we can hope they are wrong. None are my very nearest so that is something to be thankful for. At least Christmas is on its way and I love this time of year. Pressies are piling up every day but still several important birthdays to do before then as well so an expensve time of year as usual. I think you have family birthdays around this time too Nicky?
Lisa how lovely to go to Tenerife, what was the temperature like? Sorry to hear you are unwell. Did you pick it up on the flight? Hope you don't have that cough that plagues you every year. Get well soon. Yes I am watching jungle, a good series but I watch it on record as it annoys me how long it goes on for, so I can fast forward.
Carole that journey sounds horrendous and how on earth did you manage with the dogs in there too? A bad end to a nice trip to visit everyone. How were the family? Did you buy many things while over here, ready for Christmas?
Nicky, most of all I am so sorry I havent been on to ask how you are. I really hope you have had the funeral now and that you were all able to celebrate a lovely dad and husband's life at last. How are things with mum now? Love Lily xx
Just a quick post, as on Sunday returned from a whirlwind visit to see Mum in London, and children/g children in Hampshire plus do a quick bit of Christmas shopping. We left on Tuesday and came back on the overnight ferry Friday night ...... big mistake! The whole of France were having demonstrations and blocades, so what should have been a 7 hour drive (with a couple of stops) turned into a 16 hour drive! Not impressed, Mr P was so tired from the driving but just wanted to press on to get us home. We had the two dogs in the car also so I can honestly say the journey home was horrendous. My feet and ankles are very puffy owing to sitting for so long, so gradually hoping to get back to normal. The last time I was swollen like this was during chemo days .
Nicky hope you are coming to terms with your Dad's passing, Lily how are you? Busy with Christmas things at school? Lisa, hope you had a superb holiday in Tenerife. Good job you managed to escape the hotel/house collapsing?
I've got a pile of ironing to do so better dash off. Love to all xxxx
Hi all, I'm around just recovering from Tenerife and brought a sore throats back, well we all did so that plus work means I've been shattered. Glad you've been shopping Nicky, and wow that's a long time to wait as it's a big hurdle xx lily I've joined the lurgy gang x Carole how's things?
will do a proper catch up tomorrow, jungle ...are you watching Lily?!
No chance of taking them back Lily! OH made the mistake of telling me to treat myself as I deserved it (after the crap few weeks beforehand) so I took him at his word ha ha. Actually I did need to buy some new things anyway becasue this year, having come off the 'chemo diet' for the first time in several years I have put weight on. All my skinny clothes that I'd been wearing the past few years no longer fit so it was essential I bought some new ones ;-)
Thanks for the suggestions for Mum. She is on the ball about most of those things but I think the fact the funeral is still there hanging around is preventing her from going back to some of the clubs she used to go to. It's sort of a moving forward point and because it has been so drawn out it is stopping her from doing just that. Luckily where they moved to a couple of years ago is in an area where there are quite a few widows and some of the clubs (fitness and bowls) have ladies of a similar age and situation who have all been lovely with their cards etc. They have lived in the same small town for many years so as she has got out and about a bit more she has bumped into some of those ladies already which helps with that first point of contact. I am also having Mum over at least once a week, it's difficult for me to spend time at hers as I still have this house, and OH, to look after so its a bit of a juggling act. We will get there, I just need to have my own time to myself, as I am used to having, which is when the stress levels creep up when I don't get that.
Nice list of shopping Nicky, I am impressed, well as long as you don't take them back !! Does your mum have a local magazine as they are full of clubs and actiities like wi and mum joined u3A and goes to antiques, family tree and poetry groups. I couldn't believe she was brave enough but now she loves it and met a lot of people in the same circumstances for cups of tea on other days too with other widows/singles.
When mil was on her own I had a routine where she came over and ate with us once a week. She loved that as you don't eat out on your own. Or does she have a past with brownies as helper local school to listen to reading? All would jump at an offer to help. xx
A moments peace in a busy week and weekend for me.
No, the service still hasn't taken place! It seems usual around here for it to be about 2-3 weeks after a death to fit in with times available for funeral directors and crematorium. So add on the initial 3 weeks it took to get the coroner to allow the service to take place it means it will be about 6 weeks from when my Dad died! Yes, this has given us time to start adjusting but also means, especially for my Mum, things aren't moving forward. I think she wants the funeral over with to then get on and start getting out more and meeting friends and family. She is being very positive and already thinking ahead of some short holidays next year but the immediate day to day company/loneliness is still a bit of an issue, and the onus is on me as I'm the only local sibling who also doesnt have a full time job! I am stepping back and getting on with things I want, and need, to do but it still ties me up a lot. I'm sure you know what it's like! Btw how is your Mum at the moment? Hopefully not causing you extra problems in any way.
Carole, how are you doing? As Lily has said, has the injection helped at all? I hope so although maybe it takes a while to really help so it might not be immediate?
Lisa, are you busy, busy as ever? Any trips or outings planned? We're pretty much done for this year although will be celebrating EDs 30th with a long weekend break in December.
So that's about it for now, I need to plan my 'days off' over the next couple of weeks to give me some down time and also enable me to get cracking on my Christmas shopping. I hate leaving it to the last minute so tend to do bits and pieces most days rather than one big shop. The only downside to this is I forget what I've bought everyone so I now write it all in a little notebook so I can keep a track!
Have a good week, looks like we might have a spell of sunny days which is lovely at the moment with all the autumn colours.
ps As you asked Lily I bought a skirt, couple of tops, new smart trousers but still trying to find a decent coat without spending a fortune!
Hi everyone, just checking to see how everyone is. Nicky have you managed to have your dad's service yet? I hope things have moved along now so you can make the arrangements and move through this part of grieving. Although I was dreading it with mine, it did have positives as well, so we could start to adjust to the changes it brought. How are you getting on ith mum now? Have you managed to pull back a bit more of your time for yourself? Its tricky I know but necessary for your health too. I bet you have hardly had time to think about yourself.
Carole how is your back now? Has the steroid injection helped you? Do they repeat it regularly or is it a one off? I hope it will bring you some relief. Lisa is work still madly busy? Hope your role is starting to settle a little now you are getting used to all the new things you have to do. I am really busy at work and now come down with the inevitable cold so its balsam tissues, strepsils and coughing all night for me. Take care love Lily xx
Hi everyone, how was the weekend? I am glad to see less rain and even some sun although its very low in the sky making driving more tricky at times. We went to a Christmas fair at a historic house which was nice but its a bit early yet. The reindeers looked a bit out of place in the sun! I have actually done a lot of shopping already this year. I didn't really plan to start early, just saw things, bought them and then other people gave me gift ideas, so my spare room is already pretty chocca especially with the next wedding dress taking up a lot of room in there already. Carole how has the steroid injection treatment gone? Are you feeling the benefit of it? Hope it will give you a lot of relief. Lisa how are your family now as its not long really since mum was unwell? Is the new jo keeping you busy stillst don't know. Nicky it sounds very familiar and I can remember thinking we all seemed to have been in limbo forever. That's the time when you feel you should keep visiting your mum I flt too. After the funeral you naturally move into a different phase as everyone has no choice but to adjust to the different normal days and weeks. I really struggled to get back into my life as mum was pretty much arms round the neck sinking us and wanting it to stay like that. I remember my brother getting mad when mum treated him like he now had to take on all the responsibility so she didn't have to look after her own house and finances. I would say encourage her to start doing a few things on her own and heap loads of praise on her when she does as she is probably looking for reassurance about what all of your expectations are of her now. Tricky but time gradually sorts it out. How easily we moved on to these big gaps between your medical scans and appointments. You would hardly have dared believe it if you read your posts from last year. It shows you just have to keep believing because you just don't know. Well I better buzz off here. BTW what did you buy? Love Lily xxxxx
Thank you again for thinking of me.
I'm doing fine but very busy sorting out various admin etc as well as supporting my Mum. I think I will cut and paste this sentence for a few posts yet!
Anyway the funeral date is eventually set but snt for a few more weeks. Basically, as Lily must know, you go to the back of the queue once the repatriation has taken place. So although my Dad died some 3 weeks ago now we could not plan anything at all until he was back in the country with the relevant paperwork and the Coroner had said the cremation could take place. So its as if he had died last Monday as that was the earliest time the Coroner had got back to us. This does give us time to plan his service having got over the initial shock but drags out the grieving process as there is no focal point to have dealt with yet. Oh well. My Mum is doing remarkably well and we (my 2 brothers and I) are helping her as much as possible but also stepping back - well I am for starters. I had my 1st 'day off' since my Dad died on Wednesday and managed to splurge on some well needed (and derserved!) clothes. Luckily OH encouraged me but I think he's regretting that now ha ha. Otherwise everything else, healthwise, for me is going OK. I have the joy of another CT before Christmas - yes, it really will be 3 months since the last one by then, and the wait for the results which will be 1st week of Jan. At least Christmas will distract me.
Sorry I've only rambled on about me but I am trying to read your posts but just don't seem to get the time to log on and therefore never get round to replying - until this morning that is.
Hi just wanted to ask how you are getting on Nicky? Hoping things are moving along now. So much worse when you are just left waiting for decisions. Thinking of you love Lily xx
Many thanks ladies for your support and shared stories. Lily, it sounds all very familiar! Dad is now back ‘home’ so to speak but the coroner still has to make a decision about whether there is an inquest or not, hopefully not as if there is one the delay will continue. My brothers are being very supportive but I am making sure they know the ins and outs of me going in each day, something they can’t do as they are both in full time jobs. Having seen how my OHs sister has taken the brunt of the everyday visiting to my parents in law over the years, but not made her grievances known to OH and his siblings, I am making sure I’m not going to end up in the same boat - as I always said I would should this situation arise!
Carole, it’s never very helpful when one relative comments on what others have chosen is the best route - but don’t offer a better solution! Far better for them to hold their tongues, but of course they’d never dream of that would they? Hope Mum is more comfortable in her new home and gets the care she needs. Glad Mr P is home for a few days (weeks?) and can help with sorting out all the jobs that must build up over time. Great you have tickets to the Barcelona GP, my OH went to that one many years ago as a corporate client and loved it. Barcelona itself is pretty amazing so I hope you have time to enjoy the city as well. If you’ve never been to a GP before remember to take some good ear plugs, the sound is incredible and one of the amazing things is that as you walk closer and closer to the track you can hear the cars screaming away even from many miles away (and that’s just where the car parks are ha ha). Hope the injection sorts out your problems.
Lisa, thanks as well from you, I know you are always busy so don’t worry about not posting before, I know your thoughts are with me. Hope you have some nice things planned over the next few months, tell us about them if you have 😊
Anyway, bye for now, I have a day off from being a carer as we have friends over this evening so I’m making sure I’m still doing the things I want to do, even though so far I’ve not had a weekday ‘off’ to do anything I want to do!
Oh I've jus logged on first time since weekend away,I'm so so sorry about your news Nicky and so sorry I haven't been around. Wha a very sudden way of it to happen, glad it was on the way back and opefully they had amazing holiday. I can only imagine how awful I had been for you and you taking all the brunt,please come back for any support. Big hugs xxx
Hi everyone. Nicky Its a familiar story. One of my brothers (neither of whom had a family) decided WE would all live there all the time, sharing out the days. It was uncomfortable to refuse to do it but I still had my son at school and he would have been left to get up and go to school on his own. Boys do not do this at 12! Anyway I quickly realised that everything you start doing for the bereaved parent, you then have to go through a difficult process of getting out of it, so it doesn't become the norm very quickly. I always say I lost both parents and became the parent myself. I did ring her every day, with a fast dialogue about how busy I was that day or helping out with gc, before we got to the inevitable when are you coming over. I am still ringing her every day 14 years later but that is ok with me. We got mum to join some local organisations which were not all couples. She went to WI, at U3A she joined 2 groups about things she was interested in, then other things like inviting friends to stay for a bit. The repatriation part is tough. My dad took 3 weeks to get back. He has to be embalmed and travel in a zinc lined coffin, due to restrictions when people die. He had a post mortem there but when they translated his documents over here, they said it was a disease nobody has lived beyond 40 with and he was in his 70s, so it had to be done again which delayed the funeral another spell. I am assuming/hoping they had good insurance as it was £25,000 bill to get dad back and it was a long time ago. It was all hanging around and then the last part was fast as he went straight to our local undertaker who phoned on Easter sunday to say you dad is back, we have him safely home with us now. The time delay did make me able to remember the day better though and think all the things I wanted to. So be firm but kind with mum. I recommend pre-preparing comments like well I will see you on?? (giving an actual day but not the next day) but it will be a quick catch up and cup of tea or shall we pop out to?? Get her out of the house. Double up on jobs, I'm going to tesco shall I pick you up and we can shop together. Tell your brothers that you are seeing her ? and ? days this week so if they can avoid these days and see her on any of the others. Let their consciences decide what they want to do. I know you will have all this in your head but just a few ideas of what worked for me. Never feel guilty, think what you would want your girls to do in a similar situation and I guarantee it won't be to sacrifice your whole life. Good luck xx
Carole what are these relatived doing trying to pass on guilt? Somebody needs to be blunt and say she was being eating alive with bedbugs, not eating and not safe so now she has someone caring for her. Only other option is to say would you like her to come and live with you as an alternativeif yoiu don't want her in a home? That should make her think. Keep telling your sis she did the right thing so she doesn't doubt herself. I didn't realise people stayed in hospital after steroid injections, hope all is ok? While I am attemting to throw a few Lily ideas out there. With the dogs' feet have an old washing up bowl of water outside and swish their feet in it as its much gentler than rubbing off mud. I leave an old bath towel on the floor so the dog walks on that which soaks up the worst of any damp feet and saves the floor. Hugs to all Lily xx
Hi Nicky, it seems very unfair when a loved one dies, having to deal with so much paperwork, insurances, banks, mortgages (if they have one) etc. I remember well when my BIL died very suddenly at 54. I stayed with my sister for 2 weeks helping to sort this out. You need to get a lot of death certificates (which I presume will be in Spanish, so will these be necessary to translate for UK people)?
Do they carry out a PM? Here in France they never do one, unless the death is suspicious. I feel that can be wrong as sometimes it is necessary for closure to know the reason why someone leaves us.
My Dad passed away suddenly, he was 82, and went the best way possible - during the night in his sleep. But this can be no way as devastating as repatriation. We lived here in France at this time so had to leave as quickly as possible to get to Mum, again I helped with all her sorting out, she didn't really have a clue.
And of course you have all this to deal with, along with your own grief. Try not to bottle it up so come here and moan and groan as much as you want, we will all listen. Lots of hugs xx
On a different topic, my Mum is now in a permanent nursing home. I've seen her room by video message and it looks really nice. Unfortunately we have a bit of an issue with my Aunt who totally disagrees with Mum being in a nursing home so makes derogatory remarks whenever she visits, especially about the staff, none of whom are white European! This doesn't help matters as her comments make Mum unsettled and she is thinking there will be a "better" place somewhere. Heck no, this home is one of the better ones. They seem to look after Mum very well, some are trained nurses. My sister bears the brunt of these remarks. Things like "I would never have put your Nan in a home". My sister is 71 and not in great health herself so remarks like that are really unfair.
We have had some extreme rainy days, only a couple but consequently because the ground has been wet both dogs have scuffed all the dead grass (dead because of months of heat) and caused areas of pure mud. Not a joy to have treading into the house. We have a back door they can use to go in and out, but will still not allow me to wipe them off (they think I'm playing) and hate me touching their feet to remove the mud. Aero has huge paws and gets big clumps of mud stuck inside. Mea the female has been in season for just over 2 weeks, I'm beginning to think it will never stop as she's not very good at cleaning herself. Oh joy!
Did I mention we have tickets to go to the Barcelona Grand Prix next year? We're really looking forward to it. Mind you we have no one who can look after both the dogs and the 4 cats. I'm thinking of joining a site called Trusted Housesitters, my friend has used them and the people she has had have been very good with her animals. So if anyone knows anyone who fancies a week in the Dordogne in May???????
YD travelled around Italy for 19 days and has now moved into her own flat. She is starting work as a teaching assistant on 5 November, so it didn't take her long to find a job. She will also be setting up her own translation business. Luckily she will have Wednesdays off and the weekends.
I'm having a visit to the UK in 3 weeks time, to visit Mum and also spends some time with the grandchildren. GD is standing but not quite walking yet.
Tonight Mr P is home and we have a lot planned before he goes back to work, nothing exciting just routine jobs like closing the pool and making a fenced area (with the stones that compact hard) so they can go out without treading in mud.
Tomorrow I'm having a steroid injection in my back, so have to stay in hospital for one night.
All from me for now hugs to all xxx
Lily, for once I have a few moments in the morning to log on! It is very tiring I can tell you that - although of course I don’t need to tell you, you went through it as well. My Mum lives about 20 mins drive away which is quite an easy drive but going up and back each day adds to the tiredness, and that’s before the weather starts to close in! Because I stayed there pretty permanently the first 3-4 days after it happened I really have strong feelings that I don’t want to be suckered into agreeing to stay there on and off, from now on! Between my brothers and I we are managing although I’m taking the brunt of the day to day stuff and endless phone calls. My Mum is very with it mentally but her bad cold and just the sudden death seems to have turned her into early stage dementia! And I know what that’s like as my FIL has it. So it’s constant repeating of things and trying to find where she put somedocumwnts etc. Sounds like I’m being very cruel but I am aware how it is taking it’s toll and I know I have to setup back a bit, if only to get her to not rely on me so much but to get in touch with some of her relatives who I’m sure will be more than willing to help. Added to the fact we can’t even arrange the cremation yet due to the repatriation it is dragging on so much. A funeral service would give some point of reference for us all to grieve and meet with everyone affected by my Dads death in one place. As it is I think it’s at least another 2 weeks away! Sorry for the moaning it’s good to spill it out to someone not affected by this.
I’ll be back in touch again soon
Hi Nicky, I just wanted to see how you are. It must be really busy organising everything and helping to support your mum. I remember hardly having time to actually think about my own grief until long after the event as mum was so very needy. So take care of yourself too. Hope you manage a bit of relaxation over the weekend with the birthday events. Thinking of you. Love Lily xxx
Oh Nicky its just grim isn't it? I can still remember the day I got that call and not in any kind of calm way either, just mania and you hope you will wake up and find its not actually true. I used to say to people I lost more than my dad when he died because I instantly lost my mum too and had to become her mum and be there every minute possible, she was so needy and didn't know anything at all about her own finances. Glad to hear that the tour company have been supportive. Love your sense of humour. Can I add we better remind each other not to go to Spain as a destination when we get further down the track, clearly dodgy! Getting a cold on top is pants and bloody unfair. Take care of yourself as stress will be high for a while. Have you had your flu jab yet? Good idea to take a step outside the firing line and enjoy OH s birthday. Also it will help long term as your brothers will get involved more and stay involved so you don't take it all on as well as letting them feel like they have done something to help, which is important too. Get them involved as much as poss to lighten/share the emotional and physical load. Once again sending hugs love Lily xxx