Thursday, 13 November 2008

A Sad Time

Thursday, 13 November 2008
It's been a long time between posts I know but I have a very good reason for that because my family have been having to deal with the sudden death of my Stepdad.

He had a massive heart attack on the morning of 28th October and, although the paramedics managed to get his heart beating again, he had been gone too long and all brain function had ceased. He passed away peacefully at 6.15pm on Wednesday 29th October aged 75.

It was a total shock as he hadn't been unwell - he survived a major heart attack 11 years ago but had been in good health since with a miriad of pills keeping his heart functioning. In fact he didn't know anything about it as he had got up, dressed, made his bed, folded his pjs, put his hearing aid in and was heading out of the bedroom to get breakfast when his heart just stopped. He wasn't a brave soldier by any means and if he'd felt even slightly unwell he would have woken my mother before doing any of the above.

He had been a part of our family for 16 years - both my brother and I were at University when Mum met him and we were both glad that Mum found a companion because it meant we could feel less guilty about moving on with our lives and leaving her at home alone. Over the years he became a very important part of our family, the person everyone would go to for advice and assistance and he was delighted when Lia was born as she was his first granddaughter after four grandsons (he had two daughters of his own). I always said that although he wasn't my father he was, without question, Lia's grandad and he certainly never differentiated between her and his 'real' grandsons.

His hobby was stamp collecting and really, most of us dismissed it as a boring hobby done by a quiet, kind of boring, man. On his retirement however he volunteered to work in the archives of the Royal Philatelic Society and spent the last 14 years organising and cataloguing them. He received the gift of Fellowship of the RPS, something that is only given out once a year at most (if they don't think anyone is worthy of the honour in a certain year they don't give it) and the Society held a 2 minute silence in his honour when they heard of his death.

A quiet and unassuming man he may have been but he was respected by all who met him. He was also a published writer of over 100 articles for various stamp magazines, even managing to have an article in all four current philatelic magazines in the same month earlier this year.

Obviously I've been spending time back home with my Mum and family - the funeral was Tuesday and went as well as these things can. I read the eulogy - I'd never done anything like that before but I felt that I could and that it would be nicer for one of the family to do it than a stranger.

I'm back at work now and trying to get back to some kind of normality. Poor Lia has been up and down for the last two weeks as she understands something has happened but, at 3, can't really grasp the events in full. She is telling everyone that 'Grandad is with the Andrials' and she knows that she can't see him now but I've told her she can talk to him on her toy phone and she seems okay with that.

I'm now going to focus on Christmas and making it magical for Lia. I love this time of year and adore decorating the house so I'm on a mission to clean and tidy thoroughly before the end of the month so the decorations can go up on 1st December. I'm also going to totally focus on Christmas projects between now and the end of the year so Sleigh Ride will finally get dusted off and worked on as well as a couple of other Christmassy WIPs and I ordered some fabric from Picture This Plus to stitch Heirloom Christmas on so I shall be starting that at some point.

My previous post about November Goals was posted in a hurry because I had it pre-written and needed to post something after my 'Great Weekend' post before I wrote about all of this so some of those goals might be missed. I have continued to stitch though (long evenings at my Mums) - it seems to be reading that has suffered the most as I just haven't been able to concentrate much.

And of course the silver lining in all of this is that my brother's wife is due to give birth any day. I felt so sorry for her as her due date was Tuesday, the day of the funeral, but Junior obviously felt it wasn't the time to come out and say hi so we're still waiting. The new baby (no we don't know what flavour it is) will certainly be a welcome distraction for us all.


karenv said...

I'm so sorry to hear your sad news Joy.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your stepfather, and I am wishing you and your whole family some peace and comfort in this difficult time.

Erin said...

I'm so sorry, Joy. He sounds like a wonderful man, and I know he will be truly missed by all of you. {{{hugs}}}

Ginnie said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. Hope the new baby brings some happiness back to you all.

Paula said...


ollie1976 said...

Sorry for your loss.


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