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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Facing Death

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We saw the body today.
We were informed Tuesday night that the Funeral is the very end of February. It's a bit quick but, just a little but okay. That works out. It's sandwiched right in-between the birthday of a little cousin and an uncle 27 feb-1st mar (I still haven't made the cards yet) and March is a really busy time for me. It's my birthday, was my dad's birthday and most of the men on Mum's side have birthdays in March and one or two of the children too. I don't know. It's just that March is and was a very significant month for us so I kind of do appreciate that the funeral is February rather than March.
Not much time to arrange funeral flowers though. Because we should send something. Even though HE wouldn't give a damn about flowers. Mum wanted to do something special like the crest of his favorite football team. We'd looked at a few already but the ones we liked were either too big or too far away. SHE wanted to get one of his favorite train. I had a look. Nothing readily available so it'd have to be completely custom and that's a lot to ask of a florist since they require at least five days notice for the kind of thing we were looking at, let alone doing a custom design. I knew it wouldn't materialize. We settled on a design but couldn't try to order it until yesterday and we also had to book a time to view the corpse and mum was at work that day. So I volunteered to book the viewing time. It made sense since I'm not comfortable taking her card details to order the flowers and I haven't been particularly bothered about the flowers myself because I know my dad would not give a **** about flowers. In truth it's all about the living. Regardless of what the deceased may or may not have wanted once they're gone is actually irrelevant. What comes after is all about those who remember them. So if picking flowers the deceased might like brings you any comfort or even if you just pick ones YOU like in the end it's all about you and your grieving process and no one grieves the same way. Were I making the decision on my own I would still send flowers but I wouldn't have gone to the extra effort of picking out a significant design. A nice wreath with flowers in the team colours. And, as there was no way the florist could do the design we finally settled on anyway, that's basically what she's ordered. When looking for themed flowers we did find wreaths like the kind we think we've ordered. There weren't specific themed wreaths on the florists site but we trust that they will achieve a similar kind of result. We've been in contact with HER. She couldn't get the design she was planning either. Well of course not. So she's going for one related to this work instead. So neither of us get what we planned but I think these tributes will be fitting and maybe even better all in all. Maybe. Because the funeral's not happened yet and there is ever such a slight risk that dumping my feelings out into the void like this will be seen by someone connected to us so I am avoiding saying what the team is and what his job was even though I've already told you both of those things before.

So yeah. I booked the viewing. It was quick and simple, as of course it would be. They deal with the bereaved every day so they want it to be as simple and painless for you. She sounded nice on the phone.

So we went to see him today.

On the way I had a thought. This is probably the only time that I have had the control over when I see my father. I don't know. I think it feels kind of nice thinking that. That his one time I got to decide. To be fair it was within set parameters but I had many times to choose from in that time and I still got to pick the time. So yeah. A....I don't know what I was saying here. SHE is texting me because she keeps trying to send mum stuff but her phone can't receive it. Sigh.


We went to see him. The funeral person was, as expected, nice, soft spoken and quick. And then there it was. The chapel of rest. The coffin. The body.
We'd been warned in advance that he'd lost a lot of weight at the end.
There's a huge difference between being warned about something and actually experiencing it.

He looked like a character from a horror film. You know the kind? when the skeletal vampire figure lays in a death-like slumber until you get close then it grabs you all dramatically and rips your throat out.
His face was almost lifelike in colour. The tip of the nose looked oddly pale. But the hands looked pale and a bit mottled.
I've never seen a dead human. I've seen dead animals so it's not my first dead body. But my first dead human.

It looked like himself but also not like himself at the same time, if that makes sense.

I didn't cry at first.

I felt the hand. Cold of course. Kind of tight feeling skin. But that may be partly because of the weight loss too. I don't know if he's been preserved. I looked up what to expect when viewing a body but it was an American website and I don't know if it's all done the same. Is it really worth preserving a body if you're going to cremate it? Actually yes. Now that I think about it. Decay happens very quickly, at least so the tell us in CSI shows.

What made me cry was the thought of leaving him. I got to a point that I wasn't saying much any more and mu asked if I wanted to go and it took me a while to say that I kind of feel like I don't want to leave him because I'll never see him again.
But then again he's not really there. It is just a body. But still. Now I really will never see him again.
I got used to seeing him like that quite quickly. He stopped looking like himself but not himself and became only himself if that makes sense.

Did I ever tell you about when I saw the moon through a telescope. I could see the shadow of the curvature of it and I had the dumbest thought. I thought something that I had never once doubted. It really is real. The moon actually exists and it really is round and I cried with happiness. I had never in my life doubted the existence of the moon nor the shape of it. But confirming that with my own eyes was somehow so special to me.

And seeing the body is kind of like that. I knew he was dead because there'd be no reason to lie about that. But until you confirm it with your own eyes, you get to study it for yourself you can never be completely sure. There is always the tiniest room for doubt. Seeing the body means that I can never be in doubt. I felt his chest too. Cold, even with a shirt, but colder than the hand. Solid and unmoving. None of springiness of living tissue. I could come up with any number of fantastical stories with varying levels of believability and maybe try to convince myself that it wasn't real. But seeing the body myself. I can never be in doubt. Sure I can still come up with crazy theories if I want but I will always know that they aren't true and that he really is dead.
His eyes were closed. He did look like he was sleeping.

I did tell him a little bit that I'm still mad at him but it wasn't worth getting into the details. Despite that he was still my father.
I couldn't hug him like I always did. Well I could've maybe leaned in and done a little attempt at a hug but no. I wasn't going to do that. I gave him a distant hug, which is a wave. If I want to hug my Mum but she's late for work or something I'll wave instead of a hug, so in that context a wave is a distant hug. He wouldn't get it because he didn't know I thought that. But it wasn't about him really. It was about me.
I am glad that I got to see him.

We couldn't see any specific parking so we had to park at the store next door which had signs up saying that parking was half an hour for customers. So afterwards we went in to buy anything so that we actually were customers.
Meatballs. Sliced beef and daffodils. Then a bag of nuts.
Of course. Because that's obviously what you do right after seeing the corpse of your estranged husband/father.
But that wasn't all.
I spied a garden center as we were leaving and I really needed to get some bits to plant seeds. An internet gardener said to sterilize the soil (if it's not already sterile) and that seeds need very light soil to grow in so you put this super light stuff in it to fluff it up and you sift the soil to get bigger bits and things like bark chippings out because seeds really are delicate and do best with no obstructions. Which might explain some of the issues I've had previously. I really want to do it better this year so we'll see how I go.
But of course while we were in there there were other things that caught our eye. In the end we were there for about an hour. So yeah.
It was kind of nice to bee there. There were healthy plants and bright flowers already and it's a company that we used to go to for all our gardening/DIY needs but then it closed so we had to go to a different chain of stores.

I think now is a good time for a funeral. Winter is on the way out. Things have already started blooming. And things are always brighter and happier in the Spring. I think it should be easier to pull yourself out of sadness in the brightness of spring Spring rather than coldness of Winter.

In other news.
Yesterday the dog started pawing at her mouth. She made it bleed.
So I gave her half a paracetamol and put the cone on her until it had time to work.
We looked into this and mum asked the vet about it (but she seemed busy and was a bit quick with her answers. Fair enough, it's not easy to be a vet) I think it's 10mg for every kg. But the internet also said that more shouldn't kill her unless she's sensitive to it. But also that giving any medication should have the go ahead of the vet. So now we're reluctantly giving her half a 500mg paracetamol. We've only done it once before.
She was shivering after hydrotherapy and we were worried that she was in pain (because her rotten teeth really do bother her). Thinking about it more we think that she was cold. It was cold even though I put the heating on for her, she was still damp. Being a husky you don't really think about them getting cold. But she was wet right through from the swimming, it was cold and she's very old now. She seemed better and I put a dry towel over her for a bit. It wasn't much but I hoped it would serve a dual purpose of giving her a tiny bit of warmth and drying her a bit too. I planned to swap it for another dry one once it became damp. Later on, when she seemed fine, I put her but against the radiator for when she came back in. She came in too soon an I had to half shove it under her as she half lay on it and put a warm towel on her. She didn't look like she minded at least.

But yeah. She's been pawing at her mouth. And when we came back today she wanted a walk so i took her. Then I noticed her (I call it the thumb claw but it's called the dew claw) claw sticking out. Then it was twisted round. Normally we just let her shed those naturally but as she's older now and she doesn't play with toys or have big treats I got her some claw clippers a while ago. We never used them because I was unsure. They say if it's the first time you should only do a little. It's like when I cut down my nails to try and learn guitar. It felt weird but it was livable and after a while I got used to it. But with that at least I knew and understood what was going on and I chose to do it. A dog doesn't have that knowledge to comfort them.
So yeah. I got some clippers but didn't use them. But now I'm so glad I did.
The claw wasn't as bad as I thought. It had just shed like normal but was still hanging on by a little bit. I got mum to hold her (because she hated her paws being messed with) and went in with the clipper and just slipped the little bit off. While I was there I had a look at the other one. It was long and curling round into the fur. Not into the flesh but I worry that it could in the future. I just snipped a little off of the tip and used a nail file to try and smooth the edges. I'd like to trim it back a little more but I don't know where the quick is so I don't want to do it too much.
I'm so proud of her. She was so calm and such a good girl and it's her first ever nail clipping (well the first since we've had her at least, I don't know about before)
So yeah. She's a good girl and both of us humans agree that it was worth buying the clippers even if they're only used that one time because those claws could've caused real mischief today or later on.

So yeah. It's been an eventful day but there were good things about it. I'm grateful for that.

Updated 02-24-2022 at 03:51 PM by Bluebiird



  1. Bluebiird's Avatar
    I forgot to add. I told mum that I'd just always assumed he'd be like granddad and get old, then go into a nursing home, then go into hospital and THEN die and that made me start crying too.