Passing on

I’m 38, my parents are in their sixties, I’m approaching the time of my life where people begin to leave us here and pass on to somewhere else. Or not, depending on what you believe.

I got an email from my parents overnight, to say that my Uncle Alan, my father’s oldest brother had passed away, peacefully in his sleep at 78 years old. It is sad when anyone dies, but what a beautiful way to go, I’d very much like to go to sleep and simply not wake up. I’m not scare of death, I’m scared of the moment immediately before it, when you realise, ‘That’s it now.’

I’ve spent a long time on the phone back to my parents today. I’ve run through finances and my holiday allowance (I have no holidays left), and both Mum and Dad have told me not to go back to the UK. Also, Peanut doesn’t have a passport, if I went back I’d need to take him with me, which means we need to look at getting him a passport now, before we may have to suddenly whizz back.

Because it was a sudden death, there will have to be a post-mortem, but depending on what the Coroner finds, will depend if there needs to be an inquest. So no death certificate, so the family is now in limbo, as you can’t do anything with any paperwork until you get the certificate.

Mum and Dad have to stay at home tomorrow, because of a pre-arranged appointment. I suggested they start writing a list to try and get everything down on paper that they’re going to need to do to wind up Uncle Alan’s estate. Life is messy, fun, chaotic, and should be treated as a gift. Death is also chaotic and messy, it ultimately serves to remind you, life is precious. Enjoy today.

One thought on “Passing on

  1. Hello again,

    Since we’d both been affected by the “passing” last year of Robin Gibb, I’d just like to add my own thoughts here that might help (or not) to put things into perspective for you. I’m quite a bit older than you (early 50s), and was an only child born fairly late (both parents in their mid-30s)….by the time I was 40, my father had already passed and my mother passed away as well before I turned 50 (in 2009). I’m not sure just how close you were to your uncle, but I do think you’re at the time in live when your perspective really DOES broaden and you realize just how much you didn’t know when you were younger. But then, I entered 2012 with 3 of my 4 “young crushes” still living and by the end of the year, I was down to 1 (I also had huge crushes on Davy Jones and Paul McCartney, FWIW).

    I think as we age, the passage of time becomes more obvious and we DO cherish the things that didn’t used to matter as much (and we also realize how things change). FWIW, I don’t know if I was lucky or not, but my mother’s death came after a long illness and what was basically a losing bout with dementia (to the point that *I* was mom and she had no idea she even had a daughter), but I was able to devote a LOT more time to spend with her in her last few years than I would have when I was younger….and I don’t regret it. I wasn’t there when she passed (she was in a nursing facility) and it was “quick”, much like your uncles, but it was pretty obvious the last 6 months or so she didn’t have a lot of time left (and she WAS 84 at the time, so again, not terribly unexpected), but in those last few months, I ALWAYS told her I loved her whenever I was getting ready to leave….and I’m glad I did now.

    I think that’s the one important thing to take away, never to part with someone you love angry. One of the after effects of the death of Robin Gibb was that I ran into a video on You Tube which was an interview with Barry by one of the Aussie stations (I’m American, BTW) which just stunned me…..assuming he was being accurate here, he actually said all three of his younger brothers had passed away when he wasn’t getting along with them. That just shocked, stunned and saddened me……I knew he and Rob had a history of not always getting along, but to think he was (more or less) fighting with both Andy AND Maurice when they passed as well…….well, as I said, I think I was just stunned when it appeared he didn’t try a LITTLE more with Rob after the way Andy and Mo died, and then KNOWING what was likely to happen……and I also think he’s feeling the effects now of not REALLY understanding what he needed to do (and really didn’t). In any case, I’ve probably gone on longer here than I intended, but I did want to stress the importance of making those we love (especially those who are getting on in years) aware of just how much we DO love them…because we never know when they might not be with us anymore.

    A couple more things….it might not be a bad idea to have passports for everyone now since, if Australia is like the U.S., waiting times can be a bit long….and again, if it’s like the U.S., they DO last for about a decade….with family in other countries, I think it’s just a case of having ONE problem out of the way if an emergency does arise. Also, and this may not be doable for you right now, but if you’re interested, Barry Gibb IS going to be touring Australia in February (and you may already know this)…doing the “Mythology” tour that he and Robin were planning before the latter’s illness (and with Barry’s oldest son and Maurice’s daughter as part of the band).

    Ok, I’ve gone on here a bit longer than I’d expected. Hope settling your uncle’s estate goes well for you and hope you’re out of all the bad weather that’s been happening “down under”,
    Suzanne W.


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