This Week

About this time last week Grant, Graeme and I were watching the Eurovision Song Contest. In the midst of all the frivolity, I got one of “those” phone calls. It was a phone call telling me that Gloria was close to death, and wasn’t expected to survive the night.

Gloria had been in a nursing home for about three or four years, living with a combination of Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. The phrase “full of life” was a phrase that you would use, without resorting to cliche, to describe Gloria. These conditions, however, had combined in an incredibly cruel manner. She was only 64 years old. I knew the phone call would eventually come to say her life was over, but it still hasn’t been easy.

I went to work on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and came every night and sobbed. Late on Thursday night, I got a phone call from Sharon to tell me Gloria had died about thirty minutes earlier.

The last few days have been difficult. I’ve come to realise sleeping is my main coping mechanism for grief. I think I’ve slept maybe two-thirds of every day since.vI wandered out today for a while, as Colin had invited me over for lunch which was a welcome relief. Through it all I’ve felt incredibly supported by family and friends. I feel very lucky in that regard.

Today and tonight I’ve pretty much finished writing the eulogy which I’m to deliver on Wednesday. Trying to make sure you do justice to someone’s life is so incredibly hard. In the end all you can do is be honest and pray that what you say gives comfort to those left behind.

13 Replies to “This Week”

  1. Sorry to hear James. While losing parents is one thing, losing siblings must be hard. I am sure your eulogy will do her justice.

  2. For the first time I’m in a position like you had last week, with one difference… a parent. Wishing you the strenght to cope in the days to come. Losing someone, family or friends is tough.

  3. James, this is very hard. How cruel to end your life this way, so early – only 5 years older than I am. I’ll be thinking of you.

  4. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.

    As hard as delivering a eulogy can be, it can also be quite uplifting as you focus on all those good memories and what made the person so special. Don’t worry about showing some emotion since people expect it. And make use of the lectern. When I had to deliver a eulogy, I gripped the lectern so hard, I thought it was going to splinter.

    Take care and see you soon.

  5. James,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss and hope that delivering that eulogy went well for you yesterday. You’re in my thoughts, her eon the other side of the world…

  6. Thanks all for the very lovely wishes. It was a “happy funeral” (I hope that makes sense) with lots of “healing” :)

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your loss James. It sounds as though you’ve followed the adage of not being sad because someone is gone, but are instead being happy that you had a chance to know them. Big hugs to you and much love.

  8. Hi James. I’m very late off the block with this – I miss you on Facebook and very rarely remember to update my blog feeds.
    I remember meeting Gloria – as you said – so full of life and so friendly! I’m so terribly sorry for your loss James.
    Cathy xx

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