Uncle died on Wednesday afternoon. I'd just gone to the shops to get a present for Daughter whose birthday was the next day when I had the phone call. His end was peaceful and he was at home, which was so important to him, and his carer was there. The last day or so he'd been on a morphine drive so he wasn't in any pain or discomfort.
It was what he'd wanted. When the doctor had given him the option of stopping all his medication he'd agreed eagerly - he'd been suggesting it before but we'd said, 'No! You mustn't!'
The last days were long and slow - and exasperating as he'd breathe and then stop for up to a minute at a time while we'd watch anxiously until he'd suddenly gasp again. The district nurses came in twice daily and I'm sure they fully expected each visit to be their last. Please take this the right way when I say that his carer and I kept looking at each other and saying, 'He's never going to die!'
I'm not entirely sure that the doctor who came to confirm death about an hour afterwards took my comment the right way when I said, 'Watch out, he'll probably sit up and start breathing again. He's been teasing us for days!' Husband and Carer looked at me aghast and the doctor, well, she just looked. (Must learn not to say the first thing that comes into my head.) (Like saying to the undertaker, on discovering that the funeral will be just before St. David's Day, 'Maybe everyone could wear yellow. Or dress as leeks ...')
I blame lack of sleep and general brain-mush. And too much chocolate, my staple diet for the last few weeks.