George's father died a couple of weeks ago and it has been a rough time for us. He was old (86, I think) and had become increasingly infirm ove rthe years - the last three or four years have been in a nursing home. He had suffered many strokes over the years and developed a particularly cruel form of dementia, that robbed him gradually of all his motor skills but left his other faculties pretty much intact but trapped - for the last 18 months or so he could not walk, talk, do anything for himself, but you could see in his eyes sometimes that he knew everything that was going on and hated it. For a once fiercely intelligent and active man, it was a living death and it was awful to watch. So his death was a relief in many ways, but it hit George a lot harder than he expected. I must admit that my first response when I heard the news was that his spirit had finally flown free, butI don't think George could quite see it like that.He died peacefully, painlessly, with one of his daughters and his wife (and his favorite dog, smuggled into the nursing home by sympathetic staff!) holding his hands.The funeral was a lovely celebration of his life, which had been happy and eventful, and afterwards (after the obligatory sandwiches, etc!) we spent a family evening looking at old photos and sharing stories.I'm now completely exhausted from being the calm, stable centre of the family while George grieved - of course he is still grieving but is functioning more normally now.
Normal service will be resumed shortly.