Regular readers may recall that 5 years ago we had a harrowing week away in Italy as we learned of the sudden death of my youngest brother M from cancer. He had been ravaged by the disease in a very short period. And I missed seeing him before we managed to get back. Now here’s a sad tale; my young sister H, the baby of the family 12 years my junior, had been dealing with a spinal cancer situation for the last few years. She’d been elected for an experimental drug programme after years of surgery and therapy but a sudden change in her condition necessitated a mastectomy a couple of weeks ago. Long story short it didn’t go well and her condition deteriorated. On Saturday night we learned she had little time left, days possibly, and headed up early Sunday morning to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Half an hour away from Blackpool we learned my lovely sister H had passed away.
Well it’s been a difficult week or so. My mum had left some directions about her funeral arrangements and I imagine there are always some family issues around the delivery of those very personal final wishes. The odd thing is how my mother’s death brought us together as a family after some initial difficulties over interpretation. We had a kind of shake-down and after that all went pretty smoothly in the planning. We even had the most positive and light-hearted interview with Michelle, possibly the best funeral director I’ll ever come across.