Ticket to Ride

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I’m not sure why I have a Beatles song stuck in my head, she was always more of a Rolling Stones fan.

She died in the hospice, whilst my father and I sat either side, small-talking about the sleep we’d not managed to get over the past two months. Her eyes opened, and then she just stopped breathing. It was a privilege, and horrible, and also somehow mundane. There were offers of tea, and a nurse with a stethoscope to check that she had gone. I tried to gently slide her eyelids back down.

It’s much more difficult to do than it looks in the films or TV.

I stayed with my sister that night. We both fell asleep in her bed, in the day clothes (her) and the work clothes (me) we’d been walking round in.

Yesterday we had the celebrant round (well-groomed, lovely, a firm believer that the Moon landings were fake). Then there was the funeral director, to discuss the other arrangements. Afterwards we ordered the flowers (immediate family only, donations to the hospice otherwise). Everyone was courteous and polite, but I exited feeling like I’d been beaten with a stick anyway.

I’ve cried precisely three times. The rest of the tears just lurk, and circle like sharks.

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