Wednesday, 10 June 2009


My previous post, 'Crossing Over', told of the moving moment when I was with my Dad at his death. What followed was surreal almost to the point of being comic!
There I was with a newly dead body - not something I'd experienced before - with the realisation that I was expected to do something about it. Rather stupidly, I decided to phone the doctor - as if he would make any difference! In fact of course, this was the right thing to do since the doctor would be able to pronounce Dad to be dead and issue the death certificate. They also advised me to contact the undertakers.

Dad and I now sat in silence, a very strange event, for an hour or so. Though full of sadness, I was also fascinated to gaze at the dead body. It wasn't my Dad. It couldn't be more obvious to me that he had gone. What I was looking at was just the shell he used to inhabit.

Eventually, the doctor arrived at around midnight I think. He asked a few questions and wrote out the paperwork. I was left with 'Dad' again until the undertakers arrived. There were two of them, one average size and the other very short. Dad was slumped in a sitting position on the settee so they laid out the opened body bag on the floor in front of him. Now they had to pull and slide him forward feet first onto the floor.

Now Dad was about 17-18 stone (240-250 pounds) and these guys couldn't shift him. The short one looked at me with a guilty expression and asked if I would mind helping. I took an arm, the short guy took his feet and his colleague took the other arm. Together we lifted Dad and slid him forward onto the body bag and I vividly remember the moment that his head hit the floor with a big bump! They zipped him up and then the three of us took the bag handles and carried him out to the van.

So one moment, I had witnessed my Dad die in the most moving way and the next I was carrying him out in a body bag. I know he would have seen the funny side of the situation!


  1. I think it's hard for us to look at this person we've loved our whole life, to realize this body is now only a shell... we laughed and cried all at the same time when my dad was dying. Sometimes I think the doctors thought we were all crazy, laughing when we should have been crying. But you know, we all handle grief differently, and my family has always dealt with the tough times by laughing and joking... nothing wrong with that, eh?

    And by the way, I am not 5-0 YET. I still have a year and a half to go. :-) Then I will be old. LOL