Saturday mourn

Light at the end of the tunnel

Mr FD became an orphan today, due to the passing of his mother. I wrote a few weeks ago that she had fallen and broken the neck of her femur, and at 90 no one expected a good outcome.

She continued to be in pain and the doctor decided this week to order an xray to check her injury. Normally, a mobile x-ray unit would come to the care facility and take the xray, but thanks to Queensland Premier (akin to a Govenor) Campbell Newman’s gutting of our health care system there are no longer mobile units. So, the poor thing had to be placed in an ambulance and taken to a hospital for the xray.

Naturally, the journey increased her pain and so they gave her more morphine, but this resulted in her blood pressure dropping to 65 over 30. They took her to ICU and stablished her, but sent her back to the care facility the same day. After that time she no longer communicated with us, stared vacantly and moaned in pain from time to time. Last Sunday she was able to have a very long and clear conversation with Mr FD, so the change was rapid and stunning – thank you Campbell Newman (and no, I never voted for him).

So, from Wednesday all we could do was hope she would pass soon to relieve her ordeal. We were on our way to be with her this morning when Mr FD’s sister called to say MIL had just died.

MIL was actually in a care facillity where old nuns go to live out their last days and so the place is steeped in religion. We were forced to endure a funeral procession through the facility and out to the hearse. It was touching, stressful and comical all at the same time.

An old nun with a violin appeared and she led the procession. MIL’s room was not far from the front entrance, so to allow a procession we had to procced to the opposite end of the hall, out through the garden and then back into the building down the length of the main hall to the entrance. They told us we had to go through the garden and SIL was concerned because she had seen a tree snake out there the day before, but the old nuns had to have their procession.

So out we go. The nun playing a maudlin tune on a wobbly violin, followed by the undertakers wheeling the coffin. Then walked Mr FD and his sister, followed by me and SIL’s friend (she is of Russian decent and looks like she has had to many vodkas and more than a little like the grim reaper poor thing). We walk out into the garden and SIL catches sight of a blue tongue lizard, and she starts to giggle. She has always suffered with a nervous giggle and here she is following the coffin and trying to suppress her giggle.

All the residents are lined up down the hall as we proceed out. A few that knew MIL or SIL stopped SIL to give her a hug, or to press Mr FD’s hand, just to prolong the moment, but eventually we reached the exit and had to stand waiting as the coffin was placed in the hearse.

One undertaker drove the car, but the other walked in front of the car as it left the grounds and continued down the street. He walked ahead until it drew out of sight.

More hugs from unknown nuns and other residents before we could escape. All too much niceness for me I am sorry to say, so I was back to our car and reefing open the door at the first possible moment.

The circle of life complete.

13 thoughts on “Saturday mourn

  1. My condolences on Mr. FD’s mother. That is awful they had to try to take her to the hospital instead of having a mobile unit come to the facility. The poor thing, she shouldn’t have had to suffer like that. The old nun playing the violin is just a comical visual, as is the rest of the funeral procession.


  2. I’m sorry for your and Mr. FD’s loss. Poor woman. I hope when Campbell Whatshisface goes to hell, he’ll have a broken spine and will be strapped inside of an ambulance that drives over a bumpy road for eternity.

    The nuns—I don’t know whether to laugh or feel doleful. Happily the nuns at the hospice where my husband died did nothing like that, but they form a ring around his body and said a prayer over it. I’m not Catholic, but it was touching and I was happy they did it.


  3. So sorry to hear of your loss. At least she’s out of pain and in peace now.

    I’ve been stunned, several times now, at how quickly the very elderly can go from death’s door one day, to chipper and sitting up and eating the next. It’s emotionally exhausting.

    Most nursing homes, it seems there’s almost always a red EMT rescue rig parked out front. When you see the firemen walk through the place, it’s clear they’re not in a hurry. It’s just heartbreaking. At least your comical, ever-so-serious, and, bless their hearts, earnest and well-meaning, nuns are something entirely different.


  4. sorry for the loss.
    my g-ma also died from a fall in a nursing home. fortunately, no non-led funeral procession – I don’t think i would have been able to keep from laughing and the intense formality of it all


  5. So sorry for your loss. Age + Brittle is never a good combination.

    Mr. Blue-Tongue Lizard merely wanted to pay his respects.


  6. I’m sorry to hear of the passing of your MIL. You are blessed she went quickly without prolonged suffering, but it’s still sad when our parents (in-law) pass no matter how or when or the emotional circumstances.

    As for those sweet earnest nuns, …


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