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The End

Somehow I am not ready to tackle life. There is a mountain of emails to be answered, two weeks of backlog on work and the admin around my father’s affairs to be sorted. And yet I find myself on the couch staring at the mountain.

I am not sad. And I don’t think I am grieving. Maybe I am. I do not wish that my father did not die, that would be silly. And I don’t wish that he had died in any other way, in fact, I am so grateful for the way he transitioned. I am simply quiet. My world has shifted on its axis and will never be the same again.

The finality of a death is one thing, but to carry on after that final transition is difficult. It’s not impossible or unbearable, just difficult. Having to talk about my father in the past tense is difficult. He was. He did. Instead, I still want to say he is, or he does. Imagining our home without him is difficult. Not saying to my mom “love to Dad” after our phone call. Not having him sit in his big chair with Sally with him is strange. Seeing his bed that has not been slept in. Wearing his watch.

I suppose this is what processing means. Being quiet and letting all these thoughts, feelings and emotions churn away inside, hoping to get to a sense of essence. When all the thinking has gone round and round all that will be left will be some essence. Like a jus that has been reduced to something pure and simple. All the evaporation of emotions will leave behind a Knowing.

I am really touched by the number of people who have followed me on this journey. Whilst it does feel slightly narcissistic, so many people have thanked me for sharing such private emotions, saying that it helped them to give words to feelings where they had none. Whilst I know that I can become quite preachy, I am astounded at how many people do not want to talk about death. Even more, people who don’t have an advanced directive or living will in place, not to mention an up-to-date last will and testament.

I will not preach about this again, but FFS get it together and sort it out. It is an absolute curse to leave your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf without your guidance and clear instructions. Do it! Sit down, and talk about it. Discuss all the different scenarios. Be bold. You owe it to those around you. Then make sure that everyone knows where the copies are of your documents.

Thanks to this I have absolute peace about my father’s transition. And eternally grateful that I could step in for him when he could not make his wishes known. If we had not known what he wanted, he would have been alive now, bedridden, not able to control his bladder or bowel, with a nasogastric tube down his nose. He would have needed 24-hour care, with no quality of life.

This is my last chapter of this journey. Tomorrow I will get back behind my desk and tackle the world again. But I will never be the same person again. I have grown so much, in fact, I know that I have also transitioned in a way. Having been through this journey with my father is like an incarnation of a new life. A new beginning.

I do believe that there cannot be a new beginning without an end.

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