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Monday, September 06, 2004
I last spoke to him very briefly on Wednesday, he wasn't able to say very much. He slipped quietly into a coma on Thursday. His death was peaceful, he was at home in his own bed with my mother by his side. I didn't find out until Saturday afternoon.
My mother phoned to tell me, she simply said, "he's gone". Her speech was very understandable thankfully. I'm glad I heard the news from her.
One of my older brother's left me a message on Friday to let me know that my father was in a coma and to tell me that he didn't have more than a day or so left. I didn't phone him back, I'm not planning on ever phoning him back.
I did phone my mother on Friday and had it confirmed he was deep in a coma. I spoke to their part-time home-helper, who brought me up to speed on the situation.
To say I wasn't prepared for the news would be a dramatic understatement. He was diagnosed with the cancer almost exactly one year ago, he's been in steady decline since Christmas time last year. When he was admitted into hospital in June, I thought it wouldn't be long from then. Everyone did apparently, but he surprised them all by lasting as long as he did. It just shows how strong he is, I mean was.
It still hasn't sunk in yet, I haven't cried really or mourned for him. The whole thing is very abstract, I find myself very detached from the reality of the situation. My low-key reaction has surprised me, I expected to be crippled with grief.
Maybe it's because I've had so long to prepare, I expected it for so long. Perhaps it's because for all practical purposes, I lost him a few months ago. My ostrich like attitude meant while I could speak to him, I didn't, and once he was in the hospital I didn't expect to ever speak to him again.
When he was released from hospital, I was given that bonus conversation with him, where he sounded strong. It was a short, but good chat, I didn't know it was to be my last proper one with him. If I had known that, I would have told him again that I loved him. I didn't. I thought I would get another chance to speak to him. He sounded that good. But I was an ostrich again, I stuck my head in the sand and didn't phone for nearly 2 weeks. When I did get him, I think I was a bit shocked by how bad he sounded; how much he declined from the previous call. I didn't tell him then either. The last time I told him was Father's Day, back in June, just before he went in the hospital.
I don't think he really understood why I didn't visit in the last year, though I did try to explain, many times. I think, hope he knew how much I loved him. Maybe it was just too hard to say the words on those last calls, I know I would have broken down in tears, he would have too.
Ok, it's sinking in now, as I write these words, it's really hitting me. The tears are finally coming. I won't ever see him again. I won't ever hear his voice again. I know I've complained about him in this very blog in the past, but I've always known I couldn't have asked for a better father. I love you dad, I miss you so much...
This is getting to be too much for me, since I am Mr. Avoidance. I'm going to sign off. I've got more I need to say, but not right now.