A Travellerspoint blog

Tragedy

St Albans and London

In this blog's original appearance, on Travelpod, I wrote this retrospectively in January 2014, although I dated it to the day after the events happened. This was because I was not up to posting anything at the time.

This is something I truly hoped I would never have to write here. I don't know how to write it so I will just write what comes into my head.

Dad has died. My lovely warm kind loving Dad, always so generous especially with time and help, who despite a wide range of terrible puns could be very funny...

In the early hours of Christmas morning he lost consciousness and never woke up. He had a massive bleed in his brain which could not clot due to the cancer having spread to his liver.

There were only four of us in the house at the time; him, Mum, Dave and I. The paramedic was brilliant but he couldn't get Dad to open his eyes. I was there in the room while he was there so I saw how good the guy was. Then once backup arrived with the ambulance they carried Dad downstairs in a wheelchair and put him in the ambulance; Mum got in too and off they went to Watford. It was 5.30 am when I watched them depart, came back inside and went back to bed. I couldn't sleep at all. I was unbelievably glad that Dave was with me. We stayed behind to start Christmas dinner preparations, ring round to tell people what had happened, be here once guests started arriving and just hold the fort in general.

I found out later that Dad had some seizures in the ambulance. At least I know that since he had already lost consciousness by then, he almost certainly wouldn't have known about them. Nor, later that day when he was transferred to hospital in London and had emergency brain surgery, would he have been aware of that. He had gone already by then, really, in bed.

Mum came back home for a couple of hours to have some Christmas dinner and a rest. Then we opened some presents. There were twelve of us there by then. Although part of me had guessed that morning that Dad was not going to wake up again, Christmas dinner and present opening was a distraction and made another part of me start to override the other, convincing itself that everything was going to work out OK actually and Dad was going to come back at some stage. I'd be able to give him his special Montecristi (Panama) hat, for example.

So when Mum came in and made an announcement, having slipped out to ring the hospital and see how Dad was doing, it jolted me back to reality. The hospital had asked her if she was coming... indicating that it was now time to come and say our goodbyes. So that is what we did.

They had to wait for 24 hours before doing more brain tests, so we went back to London the next day (well, Mum stayed the night at the hospital; the rest of us went home and then came back). We arrived just in time for the consultant to come and tell us that the brain tests had told them what we had already guessed - there was no brain function left and only the breathing machine was keeping him going. Although I think we had all already guessed this, it was still horrible to hear. So we all said our final goodbyes to Dad before going home. The hospital was great and let us take however long we needed.

I love you Dad and always will.

Posted by 3Traveller 09:28 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london united_kingdom christmas dad mum st_albans

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