As this blog is posted (Tuesday 24th March), I hope I am at the funeral of Nick, my partner Kristine’s Dad. Extraordinary to say, surreal. But reality, in terms of hope.
Given the current situation, funerals may have to be unattended. Yes. That means no-one, apart from the funeral workers, will be allowed to attend. The best we can hope for is, a maximum of five people being present for the service.
The funeral has already been pulled forward by a week to give us a fighting chance to attend. Whatever the fears, the pain and anxiety for our family, we know for the people to come there won’t be any hope. Not for a while. People are dying in hospital and their families are not allowed to be there. From a public grieving process, closure doesn’t even start.
Nick’s death pre-dates the coronavirus in the UK. It was just over a month ago and we, as a family, were out enjoying a toasted tea cake and cup of tea. There was no warning, no indicator. He was a healthy man of 64 who had regular checks at the doctor. And it was brutal. One minute we were talking about going on holiday this summer, two hours later he had gone.
Nick was a very kind, gentle and caring man. I can only imagine, as a father myself, the conversation Kristine had with her father when she told him about me. I imagine it would have gone something like this:
Dad, I have met a man.
He is a lot older than me.
And he works where I do.
And he has been married before.
And has two kids.
And is only 3 foot 11.
And has no arms.
You get the picture. He rolled with the punches and came back for more. He would like that analogy as he enjoyed Boxing.
Nick made me feel so welcome, and Ruby and Daniel, his two step grandchildren, doted on him. And he doted on them too as well as his two new 9-month old twin grandchildren, Evelyn and Eliza.
His friends and work mates of 30 years all call him Badger. I assume because of his love of wildlife and animals rather than the changing colour of his hair! The likelihood is they won’t be able to say goodbye to him, probably until September.
RIP Badger. Grandad. Husband. Dad. You will be missed but never forgotten.
Mike Adams OBE
24 March 2020