Another Friend gone

This is about an elderly couple, both born in 1933, just a few months older than Peter is and I am. We’ve known them for ages. When we moved, we lost touch for a while. Then we found out they had moved too. It turned out they lived not far away from where we lived. Indeed, what a surprise this was! They had moved into a very beautiful new home in a village for the elderly. From then on we started seeing each other about once a month for coffee and cake and a few games of Rummy. They always enjoyed playing this game with us. We had some good times together. Both of them suffered some ill-health; we thought the husband more so than the wife. We couldn’t see them for quite some time because the husband apparently was in a bad way, so the wife said on the phone not to come and visit. Should we have made an effort to see them anyway? Instead, I always waited for them to tell us when we could see them again. I wrote them a Christmas card. They knew that we had gone overseas for a while and that one of our daughters had died shortly before we left. So I wrote in the card a bit about our overseas trip and that we were now back home again. When we didn’t hear from them, I should have made a phone-call finding out how they were. But I didn’t ring. Why do I tend to put off phone-calls like this?

Then, yesterday, we got a phone-call from one of their sons. “Mum died last Friday,” he said. I thought I hadn’t heard right. “Did you say your Mum died?” I asked. He confirmed it and explained the funeral service would be on Friday at 11 o’clock at the Catholic Church in Dapto with the funeral procession going to the Memorial Park in Dapto after the service. And he said all the details were in the Illawarra Mercury if we wanted to have a look. “How’s your Dad?” I asked. His response was that he’s very shocked. But the family is with him. They are of Dutch origin and have a large family in Australia and overseas.

14 thoughts on “Another Friend gone

    1. Thanks very much, Cat, for your comforting words. Our thoughts are very much with their sons and families who are spread all over Australia, and especially with the husband who’s left behind and who’s very sick himself.

  1. I was thinking this week about the number of people I know who are in various stages of grief right now. When we know so many who have lost dear friends and family it is very hard. My best to you.

    1. Thanks, dear Debra, for your kind words. At my age there aren’t many people still alive who are older than I am. When we came on the boat to Australia Peter and I were just about the youngest couple on board with children. Now, where-ever we go we’re nearly always the oldest! I can’t believe that next year I’m going to turn 80. But this is how it is!

  2. I agree with everything you have to say in your blog, “Another Friend gone”. But don’t worry AuntyUta, they wanted their privacy and did not feel like entertaining or discussing the state of their health.

    What we have now is the good memory of being together with them often. Her passing reminded me of the German movie “Cherry Blossoms” where the husband was the one in bad health, but still his wife passed away before him.

    Life is like that, that it throws up new problems suddenly and all we really can do is hoping that we can cope. For me the prospected of being separated from each other after our long marriage is a horrible one.

  3. Death. Shock. It’s always a shock: there/not there. And you had written and not heard from her. She was alive when you wrote, now not. It truly is such a shock.

    I hope you are coping okay. I did not realise one of your daughters had died just before you went overseas. I am sorry for that too, Aunty Uta. I have only had one death in my life that mattered – none of the others did. So I haven’t really experienced it much. It really would just – yes, simply, shock.

  4. Thanks, Noeleen, for commenting. We went to the funeral on Friday. This was the very hot day, 45 Degrees in the early afternoon! Still, a lot of people had come to the funeral. A lady, who used to be their neighbours and who’s well into her eighties now, had come too. She used to be a good friend of ours too. But we hadn’t seen her in more than twenty years! She talked to us after she had talked to the grieving husband. It was as though we had only seen her yesterday. Than we talked to the husband for a bit too. One of their sons who is our son’s age, came over to us for a little bit. He explained that his mum had been left for the past three years with one rather sick lung. There’s a big name for this sickness which I can’t remember. This was before the church service,which was a Catholic Mass. One section of the church was packed full.
    In the afternoon of that Friday Peter and I went to Wollongong for a scheduled Body.Cooperative meeting. Nearly all the home owner residents turned up for the meeting despite the heat. Since Saturday the temperature is back in the twenties.
    Peter and I had a very quiet weekend. From next Thursday on we’re going to be very busy again. Peter’s older sister, who lives in Austria, is back in hospital again. It looks like she’s not going to make it much longer. I think the family is prepared for this.

    1. It looks we had a bad trot with funerals lately. But at our age we have to expect that. The previous generation is gone and now it is us, our friends and so on.

      My sister is in a bad shape, but she is still smiling and she thinks the medical profession is crazy to want to prolong her life. In fact they have with great skill since the mid-seventies. But now, she has enough.

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