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The End of an Era.

posted in: sorrow | 40

A few people have noticed not just my absence in Pet Blog Land but also my blog’s disappearance.  Thank you, it’s nice to be missed:)  Both events were tenuously connected.

Do you remember a couple of months ago I wrote a few posts giving you a bit of insight into my ‘real world‘ life?  John, my ex-husband, died on Friday, Remembrance Day, at 10am.  I had expected him to go into a decline after I had to let Joshie go to the Bridge, but he didn’t.  He carried on the same as usual apart from always saying how much he missed Josh every time I visited him.  During the 2 months without Josh he had a couple of trips to hospital with falls where he cut his head and one with a very mild seizure, but nothing major.  I thought he could carry on for years yet.  So his death was a big shock.  It was instant.  My big fear was that he would have a seizure that would leave him in a vegetable state, but he got his wish and died at home and wasn’t far behind Josh, just as he told him when we buried him.  So now John, Katie and Josh are all together again, fit and well as I love to remember them all.

John and his best girl, Katie

I won’t go into all the details.  Let’s just say that if any of you have gone through finding a loved one dead, dealing with police, undertakers, his family and friends, and organising a funeral alone you will have an idea of what it’s been like for me the past week.  On Monday afternoon I had everything under control and the funeral organised and thought I would have a break from the real world and just install a new whizz bang version of my theme which only took a couple of clicks … and resulted in a totally white blog with no access to my dashboard!  It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I had the energy and brain power to think about rectifying things, which I managed to do in a couple of hours.

Reading and commenting on blogs has been beyond me and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I’ve also got a lot of work to do with sorting things out at John’s, so it will be a while before I’m properly back in action.

I’m doing OK now.  I have some lovely friends who check up on me, and Frankie and Beryl are keeping a close eye on me.

So much of the past 4 years of my life has revolved around John that I have no idea what it will be like without him.  I still think I’m going to wake up and find I’ve dreamt the past weeks events and when I go out to his place soon he’ll be there.  But he won’t be.


A friend of ours read this out for me at John’s funeral.  It was a good funeral, if there is such a thing.

Thank you to everyone who has come along today to say goodbye to John. Some of you have travelled a long distance to be here and I really appreciate that. Unfortunately John’s brother and sister-in-law, Ian and Glenis, can’t be here due to circumstances beyond their control, but they are thinking of John.

Most of you will know the past few years haven’t been good ones for John. It was very sad to watch a man who was so mentally and physically active slowly deteriorate. John was extremely frustrated by it and well aware that his brain and body were nothing like they used to be and only getting worse. But he never lost his sense of humour and he never strayed from his desire to die at home.

If it wasn’t for his cousin, Carl, John probably would have died in hospital 3 years ago. She put her life on hold for a number of weeks to come to his rescue when I couldn’t and I will always be grateful to her for that. Carl has also been the first person I turned to for common sense advice when something needed doing that I couldn’t handle. Thank you, Carl.

There are many wonderful services and agencies available for the elderly in New Zealand and I have nothing but praise for the care and support John received from his Dr; Karl Gilchrist, his lovely home-help ladies, Joyce and Monika, Dr Kirsten Holst, Bev Flaust and Ann Legg who always seemed to find John on his many trips to Palmerston North hospital following a seizure. I know they are all pleased for John that his wish came true and he died at home, suddenly but quickly.

We’ve been helped and supported by a host of other people over the past few years, too many to mention individually. Please know it’s always been appreciated. Thank you.

One of the things I most admired about John was his kindness and consideration to animals, be they farm animals or pets. His constant companions in his last years were his two little Jack Russells, Katie and Josh. Katie left us in January, 2010 and John missed her terribly. Josh was one of those extra special little dogs and he looked after John in a way not many dogs would be capable of doing. Josh went to join Katie on the 10th of September this year. As we buried him next to Katie at the front of the house, where they liked to sit in the sun and admire the view, John’s last words to Josh were “I won’t be far behind you, Joshie” and 8 weeks later they are all together again.

John tackled his failing health with grace, dignity and humour. He made the best of everything that was thrown at him and was extremely grateful to those who helped him.

I am humbled and slightly embarrassed by the fact that John never stopped loving me and seemed to want everyone to know it:) The last few years I have loved him as a very dear friend and have tried to help him to the best of my ability. He would have done the same for me if the tables had been turned.

It is a privilege to have known and been loved by such an honourable man. Thank you for everything, John. Good hunting and go well.





40 Responses

  1. georgia little pea

    sad, sad, sad. i’m so sorry for your loss. it sounds like john remained a good and special friend. i’m thinking of him now, with katie and josh sitting somewhere, watching a beautiful sunrise.

    i wouldn’t worry about blogging and commenting at a time like this, unless it’s helpful for you. take care my friend. a BIG hug xox
    georgia little pea recently posted..Somewhere in the world is a person who has a burning desire to go to Montevideo.

  2. Honey the Great Dane

    Oh my goodness!! I don’t know what to say!! 🙁 I did notice that you were very quiet but I just assumed that it was the usual pre-Christmas hectic period when most people get too busy with their “real” lives to do much in Blogland…but I had no idea!! I’m so sorry – it must have been such a traumatic time for you. Like you, though, I am pleased that John got his wish and went quickly & peacefully – I also have a horror of becoming a ‘vegetable’ or some other kind of undignified end. When my father died 2 yrs ago – while I was sorry that I didn’t get back in time to see him, what with the long flight to the rest of the world when you’re living Down Under – but I was actually happy in a way that he was only in hospital a couple of days and the end came very quickly. He was a very proud, independent man and the worst thing for him would have been to linger around, a shadow of his former self. So I can totally understand about John.

    Anyway, take all the time you need and we will be thinking of you –

    best wishes,
    Hsin-Yi (& Honey the Great Dane)
    Honey the Great Dane recently posted..My humans in France: Olive-Oil School, Roman bullies & the ‘Great Dane of Bridges’…

  3. Helen, Snoopy & Jerry

    Oh Sue, I’m so sorry to hear your very sad news 🙁
    my thoughts are with you at this tough time.
    May you find some peace in the thought of him resting happily, no longer struggling.
    Helen, Snoopy & Jerry recently posted..Hopeless Blogger Lately!

  4. Trude

    Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine dealing with everything! So glad to hear you have a support system. Big hugs.
    Trude recently posted..Announcing :: I Picture Hope

  5. 24 Paws of Love

    So sorry to hear you lost John. Take care of yourselves and hug those puppies really, really tight.
    We will be thinking of you. <3
    24 Paws of Love recently posted..The Trainer Who Gave Us Hope

  6. Angela jardine

    I did notice your absence and I hoped everything was alright with you…I am so sorry for your loss and I hope that somehow it helps to know the three of them are together again. That was a beautiful reading for his funeral. Take care.
    Angela jardine recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

  7. Declan

    Well it’s good to have you back & we’re very sorry about everything that’s happened in the last week. Nothing we can say will make it any better, we know, but nevertheless out thoughts are with you. Deccy & family X
    Declan recently posted..Good Thoughts for Fergus

  8. Michelle

    My dear friend, I am so sorry for your loss. I have experienced what you are going through. It was many years ago when my husband and I were in our early 20’s. His mother died at the age of 43 in her sleep. It isn’t easy at any time. Thinking of you and sending hugs through the internet.
    Michelle recently posted..My New Favorite T-Shirt

  9. jet

    Sorry to hear that. It must have been a really hectic and sad time for you. Welcome back to blogland though!

  10. Pamela

    We’ve all missed you and I’m glad you stopped in to touch base in the midst of all the turmoil and sadness in your life lately.

    So sorry to hear about John. I know you’ll face a big transition as you think about no longer having a responsibility that’s been a big part of your life.

    I’m sure Frankie and Beryl will be happy to give you plenty of fun things to do while you think it over.
    Pamela recently posted..The Weight Loss With a Wag Book Tour

  11. Stewey

    Oh my goodness – my mom and I are so very sorry to hear your news.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. Get extra hugs from your pups.

  12. Karen

    I know I am a new “blog friend” and have not known you for very long, but my thoughts are with you. Glad to see you back and I hope that the support of the blogland community can do a little bit to help you through such a hard time.
    Karen recently posted..Let’s Go For A Walk

  13. JCP

    I am very sorry to hear this news. It sounds like John was a very special friend over the years. It was a lovely speech you wrote at the end of your post. Keep your friends close and hug your pups.
    JCP recently posted..To Plumb or not To Plumb

  14. Tucker's Mom

    So very sorry to hear of your suffering such a difficult loss. Please know that you have been missed, and we look forward to having you back among us soon. Meanwhile, you’ll be in our thoughts.
    Tucker’s Mom recently posted..On this Wednesday Phoebe is WONDERING …

  15. Karen Friesecke

    I hear you on the “arrangements” thing. My German Grandmother died, home alone. Getting a call from police & then flying over to deal with arrangements was a real *treat* to say the least, so I feel your pain.

    John was very lucky to have someone that cared for him so much. He is at peace now.

    Thinking of you!
    Karen Friesecke recently posted..That’s Damn Interesting! Lovely Links 11-17-2011

  16. Elizabeth

    Terribly sorry for your loss and recent troubles. My thoughts are with you.
    Elizabeth recently posted..This Video of Dewi is Unspectacular, Except that He Speaks Wookiee

  17. houndstooth

    Oh Sue, I’m so sorry! I just figured real life had been keeping you tied up. I didn’t realize you’d lost someone dear. I know that grief and loss are funny things, and how they can sneak up on you when you’re not expecting it. Please know that I’m thinking about you and wishing you well! (((hugs)))
    houndstooth recently posted..A Tale Of Two Wake Ups

  18. jen

    I am so so sorry for your loss. I pray the pain of this great loss will diminish for you quickly. I know that it just has to happen in it’s own time though. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Crystal

    So very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have been having a rough time of it lately. But, with the help of your friends and the constant loving presence of your pets you will survive, get through this, and eventually, things will be not quite so bad.

    Remember that it is still okay for you to be happy, to laugh, and to do something fun. It is okay to cry. Just make sure you are being true to yourself.
    Crystal recently posted..Elective surgery

  20. Sue

    Sue, I am so sorry to hear of Johns passing. I am sure it has been a very sad time and not made easier by having to organise things.

    You take care.

    Sending you hugs (((Sue)))

  21. Lilli

    Very touching speech.

    I’ll send you very much strenght! It’s nice you are doing ok and you have friends, Frankie and Beryl helping you.

    Lilli recently posted..Joulukortit ovat valmiita! / The Christmas cards are ready!

  22. genjiscorner

    So sorry. Glad Frankie and Beryl are there to keep you company.
    genjiscorner recently posted..Wyatt & Rocky

  23. Nibs

    I’m so sorry, our thoughts and prayers are with you. xxxx
    Nibs recently posted..My favourite things! (by Ambam)

  24. Robin Eichert

    Sue, I’m so sorry to hear about this. Your compassion and caring are so deep and those close to you are grateful to have you there, I’m sure. Take good care of yourself. You’ll be in my thoughts.
    Robin Eichert recently posted..You don’t have to wear blaze orange to be noticed, but it helps

  25. Leslie

    Aw Sue, I am so very sorry for your loss. I thought you were having problems with the blog but didn’t realize what was really going on.

    John was lucky to have you in his life. It sounds like he was a wonderful man.

    Take your time, allow yourself to grieve, hug your dogs and be gentle with yourself. Please know that you are in our thoughts, wishing you peace.

    Warm regards,
    Leslie recently posted..Wordless Wednesday 15 – Daddy’s girl

  26. Chris

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Chris recently posted..Fido Friday

  27. Caron

    Oh, I’m so sorry! You’ve really had a lot of hard things happen and sadness that came with it all. The picture of John and Katie is really sweet and your words for him are beautiful. It’s wonderful that you were willing and able to help him out so much. I hope you will make sure to take care of yourself now. Enjoy your summertime and Frankie and Beryl. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.
    Caron recently posted..Cozy

  28. Never Say Never GHs

    Sorry to hear the news. It must have been awful to be grieving with your head spinning at the same time. You must be exhausted. Hang in there. Take care.
    Never Say Never GHs recently posted..A Little Agility

  29. Amy@GoPetFriendly

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I am happy that John got his final wish. Snuggle your pups as John snuggles Katie and Josh on the other side. Take good care of yourself – my thoughts are with you.

  30. Chloe

    We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing loved ones can be such a difficult time. Even though we miss you, we will always be waiting when you are ready to get back at it. We wish you lots of good snuggles in the meantime.
    Chloe recently posted..Wordless Wednesday #37: Just Twiggy

  31. Kristin G.

    I’m so sorry to find you’ve been dealing with sad times. Please know that I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts in the days ahead, and I wish you comfort and peace.
    Your friend,
    Kristin G. recently posted..Creature Comforts

  32. Donna and the Dogs

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. The last thing you should worry about is your blog. (((hugs)))
    Donna and the Dogs recently posted..Never IGNORE a Lump on Your Dog

  33. Jane Ruscoe

    Such a sad time for you. I am so sorry for your loss. How fortunate John was to have you in his life. Rest up and take care of yourself. I look forward to reading your blog again when you feel up to it.
    Jane Ruscoe recently posted..First Snow

  34. Terri Jacobson

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I was thinking last night I would send you an e-mail because I have seen only the white screen every time I tried to catch up with you. I even loaded up a new browser without success. Welcome back.

    Take care of yourself, you’ve got a lot ahead of you.
    Terri Jacobson recently posted..I feel pretty, oh so pretty

  35. Kirsten

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. You’ve been through so much–hope you are comforted by the knowledge of how much love and care you provided to John and Joshie before they passed. Sounds like John had a peaceful death and is now surrounded by the light-beings he knew and loved while they were incarnate.
    Kirsten recently posted..Enchanted hike

  36. Emma

    We are so very sorry for your loss. There are no words that we could say to make this all better but we sure would like to. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Emma recently posted..We’re Back

  37. Trina

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine…sending lots of hugs and thoughts your way.
    Trina recently posted..Fall back

  38. Jay from The Depp Effect

    Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. I just left a comment on your next post calling John ‘your friend’ because I hadn’t realised he was actually your ex-husband. I’ve been a bit missing from the blogosphere too. Of course a friend was actually what he was to you in the end, but I still feel I was a tad insensitive and do apologise if it caused you any pain or discomfort.

    Such a hard thing to live through. And it sounds as if you both had a tough time of it previous to his death, too. However, it is lovely to hear that you did remain friends and continued to see each other on that basis. If you could not love him in the way he wanted to be loved, at least he had that much and I’m sure he was very thankful for it. I know I would be.

  39. Michelle

    I am really late catching up on blogs. I am so very sorry for your loss!

  40. sue taylor

    I am so sorry, what a difficult time it has been for you your wonderful tribute to John was so touching.!
    Thank you so much for your kind words about Jim our greyhound xx
    sue taylor recently posted..Jim update