Monday, March 12, 2012

»Death of a truly great man

Death of a truly great man

He passed away this morning. He is the father of my best friend. I don't want it to be 'was' because he is. He is the man I wished could have been my own father. The man, who with his lovely wife, looked after me when I got desperately ill in 2005. He told me where he hid the chocolate and we chatted. He is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I have ever met. A great cook. And he could put me in my place with the most delightful droll comments.

I just got the phone call now. I am crying. He had been ill for a long time. Myasthenia I think they call it. It would nearly destroy him at times and then trick his body and he would suddenly feel ok and make jokes. His body was ravaged by steroids my friend told me. He knew, because he was a doctor. His wife is a scientist. His son is a doctor. No bliss in ignorance there.

Half the time he wasn't well enough to be seen. I just kept thinking of him and maybe I was pretending he would come back and I would go up on the weekend and talk to him while he stirred a pot of something.

"Can he come home and die?"

No he needed to be in hospital stuffed with tubes.

"What they have all these drugs and they can't just give them to him and make him comfortable?"

It had to happen. Of course. It will happen to all of us. I think I have been secretly dreading it. It is the first death of someone I have loved. It won't be the last. I am trying to think of the words about him I will write to his wife: they will not be enough to pay tribute. I wrote a letter to him when he went into hospital five months ago. They said he was touched by it.

He won't see the words I write to his family about him now. I have decided they have to be the words I was born to write. Because his death deserves that.