16:30 hrs

Two weeks ago today I had a phone call from my sister at this time. It was the second call of the afternoon.

The earlier call, which lasted about an hour, was to tell me one of her four legged companions for the past fifteen years and fifty days, had been put to sleep two days earlier. Cariosa, a Golden Sheltie, had led a very comfortable life and returned the love by being a faithful friend. Over the past eighteen months, her health had slowly deteriorated.

At Christmas, I drove my sister and Cariosa to the vet. We were sure she would not be coming home. The vet suggested some medication, that worked for some, but not every patient. My sister was prepared to try and over the next few days she seemed to rally, find her appetite and show interest in gentle play.

In the early hours of the previous Friday morning, things went downhill. Fast! It was obvious that this time it would be a one way visit to the vet. That extra month was a bonus.

Cariosa and Alanah

Cariosa and Alanah

Cariosa& Alanah

The second call was so very different. It put life in perspective for both of us.

It was news of the tragic death of the son of one of my childhood friends. The young man would have been a few years older than Elly and a similar age to one of my nephews. A quiet fellow who I did meet a couple of years ago. He had been brutally attacked in his own home. Murdered.

As in all such occasions, the work of the Coroner, Forensics team and the law seem to go into slow motion while family and friends are left in limbo with no answers and not allowed to take the first steps through the grieving process with a funeral. The slow process of thorough examination of the body, the surroundings and checking of all movements take time. Journalists were the only people in overdrive, clutching at straws and a few snippets of news, enlarging them or indeed making things up as they went along.

Late on Thursday the body was released and permission given to go ahead with a funeral on Saturday 14th February. Extended family and friends from all corners of Ireland joined the bereaved to pay respects and bid farewell to the young man. I and most of my siblings were able to be among them.

We expect to outlive our parents, there is a chance we might outlive our spouse, but to lose a child is not something any of us are prepared for. My heart goes out to this family.

Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to hug my Elly before she flew out to Israel on Friday morning for a work visit. We are in contact via social media on a daily basis, but I long to see her and wrap my arms around her. Stay safe and hurry home my darling!

My sister does have another four legged companion: Alanah. She too was feeling the loss of her golden haired pal, She had become very quiet and lost all interest in food.

My visit seemed to help her turn the corner. She followed me everywhere. We played with a ball, went for walks and she kept my knees warm! I think my sister was worried I might be bringing home a furry friend today…

Fifty shades of Grey

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Fifty shades of Grey

22 thoughts on “16:30 hrs

    1. Grannymar Post author

      Very true, Brighid. It is why we should never miss an opportunity to say ‘I love you!’ to those we cherish!

      Reply
  1. SchmidleysScribbling

    Winter is tough enough, but to lose a beloved friend or relative makes everything so much harder. Condolences to all concerned and may the weeks ahead provide warmth and healing. You are fortunate to be able to visit with you sister. I haven’t seen mine in years. These days if I travel, I see my children. I cannot be away from home often or for long periods. God Bless!

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Thank you Dianne. I am fortunate that my sister still lives in the house where we grew up. I visit her everytime I go south to stay with Elly. This time it was more convenient to stay with my sister.

      Reply
  2. Rummuser

    The worst thing that can happen to parents is to lose a child. I have known this to happen to friends and I have seen the devastating effect it has on parents. Death of lifelong pets follows closely to this loss, particularly when one lives alone with pets. And I can relate to your feelings about wishing Elly well as I would had I received such news and had Ranjan away.

    Reply
  3. Three Well Beings

    I am so very, very sorry for your friend’s loss, it’s a loss to all who know and love her and her son, too. I have had two friends lose children to murder, and it’s a shock unlike other deaths. I completely understand your desire to be close to Elly and I’m sure she will be glad to come home and give you a hug, too! Of course perspective is necessary, but losing a beloved pet is no walk in the park! Those of us with furry family members can understand your sister’s loss, too. ox

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Debra, The father of this young man was like one of my brothers, in and out of our home on a daily basis and very much part of our social circle. The families have kept in touch all down the years. I do not have furry friends of my own, but Buffy – Elly’s dog and the two who lived with my sister, wormed their way into my heart and I do miss them when I return home from my visits. This gives me an inkling of my sister’s loss right now.

      Reply
  4. wisewebwoman

    A sad time for you GM, I’ve seen dear friends lose their children and it is devastating indeed. A dog is so close to the heart, I dread thinking of my darling Ansa leaving me. Safe travel to Elly, I know how you feel when something like this happens, you just want to keep your children on the mantelpiece for a while.
    XO
    WWW

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      I have always given Elly her wings to fly and make her own way and decisions in life, but as you say, right now I want my baby back close to my heart for that warm hug. Then she will be freee to soar once more.

      Reply
  5. colonialist

    How awful. The loss of four-footed-friend was expected; the other was not, and somehow it always seems worse than accident or sudden illness when a life has been taken by another so-called human being. The fatalists would say it was in the stars, anyway, however it happened, but one always wonders …

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Nobody deserves to have their life ended so suddenly at the hands of another so-called human being.

      Reply
  6. nick

    As you say, we expect to outlive our parents but that doesn’t always happen. My sister developed MND some ten years ago and my mother and I were told she probably had about six months max. But she’s still with us and still seeing my mother every week or so.

    To hear that your child has been murdered must be absolutely devastating. I just can’t imagine how it feels.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Nick,to hear that your child has been murdered is one thing, but to be the one to find him is something I cannot comprehend. Yet the father (my friend) spoke very well from deep in his heart, at the funeral.

      Reply
  7. Grannymar Post author

    Welcome Sally, to my blog. We all hope the family can begin to find the road to peace and acceptance with each passing day.

    Reply

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