The Call

Old Jul 19th 2020, 7:26 pm
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Default The Call

Over the years I've seen many posts from folk, living in Australia, who got The Call. I thought I could handle it - after all, I just spent the best part of the past 9 years in UK caring for mum and dad. Mum died in 2017 and I was there to help dad through it and latterly caring for him 24/7 until he decided last August that he rather liked the care home he was having respite in and he wanted to stay. He knew that we would have to sell his house, his car and get rid of all his stuff and return to Australia. He was very phlegmatic about it and when we made the decision in mid March that we needed to leave UK then or we probably wouldnt be able to leave for a long time, he understood and wished us well and we cleared out his house, locked it up and left it with just 2 days notice. I got to say goodbye to him in person even though the care home had closed its doors. He seemed so well and happy in Skype calls but on 30 June, quite unexpectedly I got The Call and he had died age 96. He'd always said not to go back for a funeral - but I cant go back for his funeral later this week - isolation at both ends would have made it impossible and a funeral of just 15 is so sad.

I thought I had this - logical and pragmatic to the core I knew it was a possibility although I really didnt think it would happen, it has happened and my heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation - this distance thing is a real bugger when your family start popping off. I'm an only child and it really ticks me off that I cant be there but fortunately my son now lives in UK and he has more than stepped up to the plate to do dad proud. The funeral is on Thursday and the insomnia is already bad (sorry for venting to a load of strangers on a forum) but this is something that most of us might well be faced with at some time.

Oh and I am finding, in the process, that executing a will from overseas is a bloody nightmare especially with this covid thing and mail delays of weeks or even months on occasion!
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Quoll, I'm so sorry to hear that you've lost your dad. Losing a parent feels like losing a part of yourself, and you've had to go through this twice in a few short years. It's so bloody hard.

You were a wonderful daughter to both your parents. What you did for them, leaving your home, caring for them both, supporting your dad when your mum died, was a such a selfless and beautiful thing to do. It would have made the world of difference to them both.

You can never really be prepared for this. I'm so glad your son's there, it means you're there too. Sending you so much love xx
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Hi Quoll, I am sorry to hear of your loss, and knowing that The Call will come, sooner or later, never makes it any easier.

I face the potential for having the same issue. Though my mother is healthy, and not as old as your father, she is old enough that there is the potential for her to die of old age before the coronavirus pandemic passes and transatlantic travel becomes low risk again. I am already reconciled with the reality that if the worst happens I will neither make a last dash to speak with her, nor travel to her funeral. And I am comfortable that I know her well enough that she wouldn't expect it.
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Old Jul 19th 2020, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
I thought I had this - logical and pragmatic to the core I knew it was a possibility although I really didnt think it would happen, it has happened and my heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation - this distance thing is a real bugger when your family start popping off. I'm an only child and it really ticks me off that I cant be there but fortunately my son now lives in UK and he has more than stepped up to the plate to do dad proud. The funeral is on Thursday and the insomnia is already bad (sorry for venting to a load of strangers on a forum) but this is something that most of us might well be faced with at some time.
Mate! The only thing you need now is many cyber hugs and best wishes . Doesn't ever matter if we think we are prepared or ready or accepting because, really, there will always be that bit inside ourselves that means we simply can't be 100% of those oh so sensible things really. That is called love.

Rotten gut wrenching time and timing. You take care of you. Work something out with your son so you can feel you are there for your Dad's final farewell and you vent on here any flipping well time you want.

All the best.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 12:17 am
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Default Re: The Call

Getting the call is something that's been on my mind an awful lot lately , sorry to hear this mate.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:26 am
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Default Re: The Call

So so sorry to hear your news Quoll,my heart goes out to you <<hugs>>
Pleased you were able to see your Dad before you left, hopefully you can take some comfort from that, and from the fact that he was happy in the care home he was in at the end. Awful situation to be in now, even though he had said for you not to go back for a funeral. Look after yourself and remember the good times

Worries me a lot at present, as I know it does a great any of us on here. Mum in her mid-80s, haven't seen her for 2 years (I should be there now ), and although she has my sister and family around her it still bothers me that I couldn't travel even if I was needed, as much to support my sister as for my Mum.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 4:24 am
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Sorry for your loss and hope you and your family are okay
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Sorry about your loss, Quoll. It's terrible to be stuck on the other side of the world, unable to return. But take comfort that you got to spend nearly all of your mum and dad's final years with them, and you knew your dad was being well cared for by your son and the people at the nursing home. And extra special and a tribute to him that he identified you needed to go, to return to Australia while you still could. My best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Over the years I've seen many posts from folk, living in Australia, who got The Call. I thought I could handle it - after all, I just spent the best part of the past 9 years in UK caring for mum and dad. Mum died in 2017 and I was there to help dad through it and latterly caring for him 24/7 until he decided last August that he rather liked the care home he was having respite in and he wanted to stay. He knew that we would have to sell his house, his car and get rid of all his stuff and return to Australia. He was very phlegmatic about it and when we made the decision in mid March that we needed to leave UK then or we probably wouldnt be able to leave for a long time, he understood and wished us well and we cleared out his house, locked it up and left it with just 2 days notice. I got to say goodbye to him in person even though the care home had closed its doors. He seemed so well and happy in Skype calls but on 30 June, quite unexpectedly I got The Call and he had died age 96. He'd always said not to go back for a funeral - but I cant go back for his funeral later this week - isolation at both ends would have made it impossible and a funeral of just 15 is so sad.

I thought I had this - logical and pragmatic to the core I knew it was a possibility although I really didnt think it would happen, it has happened and my heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation - this distance thing is a real bugger when your family start popping off. I'm an only child and it really ticks me off that I cant be there but fortunately my son now lives in UK and he has more than stepped up to the plate to do dad proud. The funeral is on Thursday and the insomnia is already bad (sorry for venting to a load of strangers on a forum) but this is something that most of us might well be faced with at some time.

Oh and I am finding, in the process, that executing a will from overseas is a bloody nightmare especially with this covid thing and mail delays of weeks or even months on occasion!

Been there three times, twice for each of my parents and once for one of OH's. I was attracted to the Oz forum by your thread headline precisely because I've been there. It's always hard and the distance doesn't help. I'm sorry.
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Old Jul 20th 2020, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: The Call

I'm so sorry for your loss, quoll.

My Dad has also always said not to bother going over for his funeral, and my reply has always been I will be going for the living not the dead. (Whilst they are very capable, I don't want my nieces to have to deal with everything. And my sister is not really capable at all.) Right now I'm feeling frustrated that I am not in control of the situation. Hell, it took me seven days to get to my Mum when she collapsed (Icelandic volcano) but I got there! This time if I leave the US I may not get back in. Thank you, Donald.

No comfort I know, but I am sure your Dad would understand. Look after yourself.

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Old Jul 20th 2020, 9:58 pm
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I'm so sorry, Quoll, it's all just a bit of a bugger

No matter how well prepared you are, the smallest of things will just trip you up and dump you on your bum - I hope you have enough people around you to help you back on your feet when that happens.

Big hugs to you all x
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: The Call

So sorry to hear that Quoll, it's incredibly hard when you're not close to the parent. To be as close as you were it's heartbreaking. Take comfort in the fact that you said goodbye and that you fulfilled his wishes, however much they hurt for you to carry them out. He doesn't care who sees him off or how so try not to beat yourself up for not being there. Huge hugs.
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 11:22 am
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Default Re: The Call

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Funeral was yesterday and my son did an amazing job at farewelling my dad and we watched it all via FaceTime (bit tricky standing out in a field in the middle of Cambridgeshire - woodland burial - not the best coverage in the world). I have to say though that a weight has been lifted from me today although I cried buckets yesterday evening - not having to worry about one or other of my parents after 9 years of being there with them and for several years before that watching them grow older. End of an era really so now it's onwards and upwards! Thanks again!
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Old Jul 24th 2020, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: The Call

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Thank you everyone for your kind words. Funeral was yesterday and my son did an amazing job at farewelling my dad and we watched it all via FaceTime (bit tricky standing out in a field in the middle of Cambridgeshire - woodland burial - not the best coverage in the world). I have to say though that a weight has been lifted from me today although I cried buckets yesterday evening - not having to worry about one or other of my parents after 9 years of being there with them and for several years before that watching them grow older. End of an era really so now it's onwards and upwards! Thanks again!
Lovely that you could be there through FaceTime and your son Quoll. A good cry would have done you good too, although it doesn't feel like it at the time. So glad that you're feeling better now and are looking to the future. Take care of yourself xx

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Old Jul 28th 2020, 10:47 am
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Default Re: The Call

Stay strong
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