Archives For funeral

The 22nd of September. 

Hallo darling, 

It has been three weeks now, since you left us. I am recovering from my most hectic few days in a long time, which culminated in saying goodbye to you. It was a lengthy drive, and you would have told me not to come, that you didn’t warrant that kind of effort. You never could fathom how much you were loved. But I had to be there. I couldn’t let the last time I saw you be the last time we were together. 

This was never a place we were supposed to be. Everyone knows I’ve been to a lot of funerals. However, they are not the funerals of friends. I have said goodbye to many people, but they have most often been children, which is not to say I didn’t love them and was not devastated, but I did not connect with them the way I did with you. I am not only grieving over losing you, but all the years I saw ahead with you too. We have not just had a friend ripped away, but a lifetime. We were supposed to drink coffee and eat cinnamon buns together. I wanted you to see the end of the saga of my swollen arm. I wanted to see you with the hair I know you were so desperate to grow back.

Adam said it most succinctly, with his string of expletives during his speech. Fuck cancer. There is a part of me that has to slightly contradict him though. It’s the worst, most selfish part of me, but I think you would understand. It’s saying thank you, cancer. I wish to infinity and back that it had ended differently, but if I hadn’t been ill ten years ago, there might not have been any reason for us to develop the bond we did. I know that we shared things that you could not speak to anyone else about, and I hope you were able to find comfort in me. 

You were, quite honestly, one of the best people I have ever known. I have no other way to put it. Only someone quite so phenomenal could inspire the love that has poured out since your departure, and it was an honour to call myself your friend. I am so proud of everything you achieved, and what will be done in your name. Only you could have appeared in such flamboyant form, a rainbow on a clear day. Thank you for being here. For all of it. I love you. 

The 23rd of September. 

Oh god I am so tired. All I want is my bed. I had to be awake at seven to be at hospital for my nine o’clock eye appointment and finally the past week has caught up with me. 

I saw Carmel, the lovely nurse, and she checked my vision and my pressures, and I could read more letters than last time. Then Dr. Barry called me in, and checked out my eyes. He has changed some of the eye drops, and whipped out some of the lashes in my left lower lid. I made some comment about how there’s not much we can do about them, and he said actually there is! So I’m going to have electrolysis, which involves having local anaesthetic in the eyelid, then a hot probe put in the root and it kills the troublesome lashes. 

Back at home, we were just about to have lunch, when Jill from Black Sheep called, because Michaela’s half one client had cancelled or moved, so could I come in early? That was fine, so I ate my lunch (including my chocolate crodough, which was still good even after two days) and we went into Sutton. Just a bit of a chop, so I was only there about an hour, swapping baby photos and stories. 

Since getting back, I have just flooped. Had some hugs from the kittens, who have clearly missed me. Henrietta less so. I have tried stroking her with the roller a bit but she continually flinched and I felt bad so I stopped. Now bed please. When Strictly finishes I am off. 

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The 17th of January. 

I have a venogram appointment! I checked on myhealth this morning, and I am booked in for the 25th at 9am. No letter yet, that will probably be tomorrow, and will include more detail. Looking back at previous venograms, there have been occasions when the venoplasty’s been done immediately, and when I’ve had to go back and have it another day. Fingers crossed it’s the former but I have no clue. 

This morning, I wrote up a post and painted my nails while watching Theresa May’s Brexit speech. It was not particularly illuminating, apart from making it obvious that if we don’t get what she wants, we are quite screwed. People keep saying “We haven’t had the Brexit crash that was predicted” like it’s fine but they don’t seem to have realised that we haven’t left yet.

Mommy has been out most of the day, taking Grandma to a funeral, coming home, reading a letter, and having to go back to Grandma’s to tell her that this letter said that her cousin has died. Not a great day for her. 

I watched the final three episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events and crocheted. I had started some pyjamas for the doll I made ages ago, so now she has the trousers and I’m working on the shirt. 

Phoned up several potential adopters to have the standard conversation, had to explain that we actually have practically no cats/kittens at the moment, but they are willing to wait. 

The 18th of January.

Today has seemed to go by ever so quickly. I looked at the clock and suddenly it was half past three. Where did the time go?

This morning, I was able to have orange juice with my breakfast for the first time since before Christmas. Think my mouth might be okay to eat fun things on my birthday, maybe even have some champagne! Such excitement. I have ordered a mini Curly Wurly cake for us to pick up on Saturday and I’ve been trying to decide what I’m going to wear. Thankfully we’re not going anywhere fancy so I don’t have to worry about a dress code, but I’d like to look reasonable and that’s tricky when one of your arms is massive. I’m not sure whether my leather jacket will fit so we’ll take the furry lining out of my park and then I think it will be big enough to accommodate the enormo-arm. 

After lunch (during which I had an apple, another thing I haven’t had for ages because it was too pointy), I had a Cats Protection call, then I made the pyjama top to go with the bottoms. I now remember why I’d stopped doing stuff from that book – it has mistakes as it’s a translation. Bah. I also started a new series on Netflix called Glitch. It’s like The Returned, but Australian, and they all crawled out of their graves at the same time not knowing they were dead. I’ll see how it goes. 

Hair change tomorrow. What colour to go?

The 12th of December. 

I feel alright today, but it hasn’t been a great day as it was Keith’s funeral. 

This morning, I did another blog post so now I’m up to date, and rang the vet to get the kittens booked in for their first of of vaccinations. Hopefully when we have to take them, they don’t hide under the chair. 

We got to the church early and met Rosemary outside before going in to sit down. It was good timing on our part, as it filled up pretty quickly. Dr. Haydn from the liver team was sat behind us, and we smiled at each other in the awkward acknowledging way that one does at funerals. 

Funerals always make me think about my own. There was a lot of talk about heaven and the afterlife, as you’d expect. I don’t think I want the afterlife discussed – I don’t really believe in it. I don’t want there to be a place I go where I can see all my friends and family but not be with them. It sounds like utter torment. 

What got to me was what Gareth said will be playing at the crem, which is All I Ask by Adele, the last song they cried at together. Listening to it with the lyrics from Gareth’s point of view is heartbreaking. It we were going to the service on Wednesday, I’d be a wreck. 

We got home to find one of the kittens had done a wee in a place they weren’t supposed to. Nice. 

I will leave my heart at the door
I won’t say a word
They’ve all been said before, you know
So why don’t we just play pretend
Like we’re not scared of what is coming next
Or scared of having nothing left

Look, don’t get me wrong
I know there is no tomorrow
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

I don’t need your honesty
It’s already in your eyes
And I’m sure my eyes, they speak for me
No one knows me like you do
And since you’re the only one that matters
Tell me who do I run to?

Look, don’t get me wrong
I know there is no tomorrow
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

Let this be our lesson in love
Let this be the way we remember us
I don’t wanna be cruel or vicious
And I ain’t asking for forgiveness
All I ask is

If this is my last night with you
Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
Give me a memory I can use
Take me by the hand while we do what lovers do
It matters how this ends
‘Cause what if I never love again?

The 13th of December. 

Oh, today has been so much better. Apart from the start – I had the last of my post-transplant jabs (the ones I’ve been having approximately seven years late), the pneumonia one. I’ve had it once before, and I forgot how painful it is. I have a very sore arm tonight. Thankfully, it’s not the arm I sleep on. Also a woman came and sat next to me and she had a snotty tissue so I moved away because I didn’t want to catch her germs. I looked like a horrible person, but I don’t care, I really don’t want to get sick. 

Came home to have coffee and give the kittens second breakfast before going to the chiro. Trine gave my lower back a big stretch out, and found that I was really tense at the base of my neck. I’m not going to help myself either because on Friday I’m going to do my wrapping – sitting at a table for that long always causes me a lot of pain. 

From there, we had a trip into town to finish Christmas shopping and for me to get my wrapping stuff. I started off in Selfridges, then Superdrug (for things that were not presents), Foyles, Whittard’s and John Lewis. I met up with Mommy and we went up the German market so I could get a red sausage. A must, every year. 

On the way back through Grand Central to get my wrapping, I noticed Joe waiting for some food with a friend of his, so I went over and we had a lovely little catch up! Plus his friend Ben said I could get gold glitter wrapping paper in Tiger for less than Paperchase which was excellent! We did have to go to Paperchase anyway for tags and ribbon, where we bumped into Vicky and Laura, another delightful surprise! I have invited them round for kitten cuddles at some point over the next couple of weeks. 

At home, I fed the very hungry kittens, and have spent the rest of my afternoon writing my Christmas cards. I am getting very much into the festive spirit. 

The 20th of November. 

Feeling slightly more comfortable today. I still can’t sit cross-legged on the floor, but that will get better. 

I spent pretty much my whole morning typing up the super long blog post (making readers cross their legs in sympathy), then Becky came round for tea and a catch up. I told her all about Friday, and the saga we had with Ava and Amira. She’s having a much better time at her new school, and we allowed ourselves to get excited about Christmas. The Boldmere lights switch-on is on Thursday and the roads will be hellish, plus I’m pretty sure it’s all going to be audible from our house so there will be no escape. Bahhh. I don’t know if we’ll go; there’ll probably be youths everywhere and I can’t bear most people younger than me. Oh well! We are looking forward to the 17th of December though, when we go to see Muppets Christmas Carol at The Electric and we plan on visiting the new Cereal Killer Café. 

This afternoon, I tried the estrogen cream with the applicator. It was weird, but I think it was better than using the dilator. Then I had a lovely, admin-filled time setting up a database on my computer for all the cars, because the system of just using a spreadsheet is not adequate for me. Finally putting my Applied ICT GCSE to some use!

The 21st of November. 

It has been a very quiet day in the Cartwright household because I have been the only one here. Mommy and Daddy have spent today driving to and from Peterborough, because it was the funeral of my second cousin once removed. I was not in a position to be sitting in a car and on uncomfortable chairs for hours on end so I stayed at home. 

This morning, I bimbled about, having to give the kittens a second breakfast because they were apparently starving when Mommy got up at half six. I got an interesting email from a guy I know who works at the BBC and is looking at making a series involving accessibility for disabled people when trying to get around, things that able-bodied people don’t have to think about. I tried not to get too ranty about how terrible most places are. 

After lunch, I was back upstairs at the computer, working on Cats Protection stuff and talking to various people about little issues I’ve noticed in some of the information I’ve got. I rang my first potential adopter, but she wants a very specific kind of cat and we currently have none like that, so she’ll be having to wait. 

Mommy and Daddy got back not long after four, while I was on the phone to Christine, so she got to chat to all of us, and now I am waiting for the people who are coming to see Archie tonight. Hopefully the dreadful weather won’t impact upon their travel time too much.

The 26th of October. 

Helen’s funeral today. I woke up just after nine, did a blog post and sat with the kittens for a little bit before we had to get ready to go out. Alison came over briefly just before we left to drop off the spare keys, then she was off to see what the team working on the house wanted for their lunch. 

We ended up accidentally following the hearse into the crem, having just heard an Adele Live Lounge session on the way so by the time we arrived, we were already pretty emotional. We saw Orlando, Sarah, Nicky and a lot of other people from the hospital in the crowd. As we went in, Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles was playing, which was Helen’s ringtone, and I spotted on the wall the name George Harrison, but not that one. Her niece and best friend spoke, and I cried a lot. More than I expected to. She’s been there for us for the past eight years, teaching us all we know about the DWP and how to fill in the forms, always ready to ring up on our behalf if they were being difficult. But I wasn’t just a client, she knew my family and talked with us about more than just my condition. I think it’s just been such a shock – I know it sounds awful, but nowadays, when I lose someone, I usually know it’s going to happen. This was totally out of the blue. She was really special and utterly mad, and will leave an enormous hole in the lives of those she’s left behind. It was really good to come back to kitty hugs. 

The 27th of October. 

Argh I am trying really hard not to be ill. This morning was pretty normal, dressed for the gym and sat with the kittens, although this time I was careful to tuck the toggles of my hoodie inside so they weren’t chewed again. Neve was being particularly stupid at one point – she normally touches the water before she drinks it which is silly enough, but today she just stood with her foot firmly in the water while she drank. I can’t explain it. 

After lunch, I went to the gym, but I ended up completely cutting out all the floor work because I was coughing after every set I did. Then the water machine wasn’t working so I eked out the remaining bit I had left until I got home. 

This evening I’ve got a dry throat so I’m going to have Tyrozets and hope it’s fine and I’m just having a dodgy day. 

The 8th of October. 

Not a lot of sleep. Got in from Rob Beckett (lots of fun, and at the end, he stands and shakes everyone’s hand and says thank you for coming, and remembered me from the Comedy Gala) at about twenty to eleven and Mommy watched Bake Off with me, even though she’d watched it earlier. God, it was so bloody tense. I was so happy Nadiya won. I had a little cry at her speech. I can and I will!

Anyway! TODAY. Had to get up at 6:25 to get to my lung function tests at 9:15. I got through the first three tests fine, then on the last one, the machine cut out. Someone came and they took it apart, then put it back together. I got two consistent results so that was enough. Dr. Thompson called me in and we had a chat and he agreed that there really isn’t any research for me, all we can do is try to keep my lungs stable. Sigh. 

We went into town afterwards to take the Oasis dress back, which I did while Mommy took back an umbrella. We met in Foyles where I bought The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler (I didn’t know there was a new one! So exciting.) and Yes Please by Amy Poehler, then I got some chunky and fluffy wool from John Lewis because I want to do a chunky ribbed snood and a fluffy one to replace a really good one I had and lost. 

Hi I’m Kathryn and I’m apparently addicted to making soft things. 

The 9th of October. 

Tom’s funeral today. I spent my morning crocheting the fluffy snood until I ran out of wool, but I’ve already ordered some more – I think I’ll only need the one ball to finish it. I was waiting for a delivery from Uniqlo of thermals, including a black jumper which I was going to wear this afternoon, but it still hasn’t arrived this evening so I’m now tweeting Uniqlo to try to find out what’s going on. 

We left for Telford just after half one because we allowed time to get lost. However, we got there really easily, so arrived at about half two and had to sit and twiddle our thumbs in the car until we saw someone we knew. Eventually, we spotted Gayle so dashed out to meet her, then everyone gathered in front of the crem to watch the coffin be taken in. I managed to get a seat (it was really full), and the service got started. Joely read a poem she’d written, and Tom’s dad also spoke. I was really proud of Joely – she really has been dealt a shitty hand and is coping admirably. She’s had Kelli’s cancer, her mum’s, then finally finding Tom and losing him so soo. 

We are able to speak to Joely and Carole afterwards, but we didn’t stay for the wake. They were the only people we would’ve known there, so it would have been awkward for everyone. We will raise a glass to him tonight during Stand Up to Cancer. I think it’s kind of appropriate – Tom would want everyone to stand up and say “Fuck you” to cancer. Kelli and Fletcher shouldn’t be growing up without a dad. 

The 30th of March.

Busy day number one! I had a text from Asha at That’s Life asking to postpone our interview until Thursday, which was fine with me as it meant I could go and help Becky assemble wedding invitations. I got over there just before eleven and spent nearly two hours putting double sided tape on edges and sticking hearts and sparkly bits on. That sounds awfully tacky but they are in fact lovely.

I came home for lunch to find Mommy with frozen peas on her face, and it transpired that she’d slipped over in the Tesco car park and landed on her side/face. She doesn’t look too bad, just a very bruised cheek. I have tried to give her hugs but she is a bit battered so I can’t squeeze too tightly.

This afternoon was Miss Jackson’s funeral. It was like an incredibly bizarre reunion – so many old girls and teachers. It was really nice to reminisce about the old days, falling immediately into old rhythms, despite the morbidity of the circumstances. At the wake, I caught up some teachers, including Miss Insch which was good. I still credit her with my decision to go for the second stem cell transplant. Sometimes I miss school – it seems so easy now. I am grateful we didn’t have Twitter then. Had that been the case, I’m not sure I would have done so well at GCSE’s. We didn’t stay too long as Mommy’s face was hurting and she didn’t feel great.

Tonight I will get at least one blog post up as I’m behind, and I’ll look forward to finally getting my line out tomorrow!      

The 31st of March.

This might be pretty short as I’m trying to squeeze it in before we have to go out again. I’ll explain.

This morning, I just got dressed and started on Alice’s aardvark, then this afternoon, I was at the QE to have my line taken out. We arrived at two, as that’s when my appointment was, but Igor for delayed for some reason, so we didn’t get started until nearly three. It took about an hour, as the line is really thick so it’s hard to cut through, and it was really deeply embedded in the scar tissue so he really had to tug a lot to free it. Igor and Marcia were very complimentary about my stoicism while he put the local anaesthetic in. I am a brave girl, apparently. They must just get lots of wusses because the four or five injections it takes are really not that bad.

Once it was out, I had to hang about for an hour and a half just to observe me, and tonight I’m going back to 625 to hopefully have the new line in tomorrow. I say “hopefully” as Andrew was off today, but his list tomorrow isn’t cancelled, so I’ll be there if it happens, and if it is off then I’ll just go home! So right now we’re going to have dinner, pack a bag and be back on our way! I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we’re on tomorrow.