The death of a spouse, a Zoom meeting on Joy

by | Aug 4, 2023 | allotments, Latest Post, ZOOM | 0 comments

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A day of death and joy

After a morning attending to domestic things I decided to go and perform gardening work for one of my clients who I knew had lost her husband a couple of weeks ago. I see plenty of videos and TV on people suffering in hospital but not so many ‘beginning to end’ stories. The widow told us in detail what happened with her husband

His wife Valerie said:  My husband started to feel unwell and was vomiting on the Wednesday so she told him to go back to bed and rest to see if the symptoms improve. When they did not she called the doctor’s surgery in the afternoon and a doctor came along.  He arrived without announcing his identity and examined him for a few minutes and said that if the problem gets worse he should call to surgery. 

Valerie was not happy with the diagnosis and called 999. The two women paramedics turned up 20 minutes later and decided to take him to hospital straight away, which was the RUH in Bath.

The nurse phoned on Thursday morning to say they were going to do tests. The nurse called again 4pm Thursday afternoon saying they have not been able to perform any test as there was not enough of an  interval between the vomiting to put in the tubes. There was nothing they could do so the only option remaining open was to make him comfortable.

Valerie and her son were invited to stay as long at they wanted. Valerie went with her son Thursday evening and they stayed with him until he passed on the Friday morning. 

Valerie was glad that she had been able to stay with him up to the end .

We did a good job in the garden and afterwards I went to thanks her and get paid.  I stepped up the level of service a bit and set that if she ever needed anything she should call. I said that as a coach and therapist I was very used to dealing with people who had passed, so we were not embarrassed or anything.

I meet my opposite in driving

So I was in a car park waiting for my partner to finish her shopping and I noticed a woman adroitly parking her car in one of the bays. She parked it right in the middle with only a deviation of a couple of inches. Me being me I had to tease her about not being perfectly parked. I admitted that I hated reversing in two parking spaces. At this point her eyes lit up and she said she loved reversing, and preferred it to driving forward. I laughed and said that we were definitely diametrically opposed.
Such gems come out of nowhere in an instant

A Time In The Working Man’s Club

Radstock has such a club populated almost entirely by guess who, working men, self-employed you name it they are there and as this was a Friday evening there were more of them and the laughter was more raucous. There is a great spirit of comradeship between working people with an emphasis on teasing each other, or as Londoners would say ‘taking the mic’. If you can’t take jokes against yourself then don’t come in. It is a dream of mine to have a big social organization of which a Working Men’s Club could spontaneously form itself in a pub somewhere. People could use the time together to swap useful information in other words gossip.

We were there to celebrate the gardening job and being paid. I had my usual half of Guinness and a double house whiskey, Françoise had a soft sparkling drink. Although I do not know many of them by name I get a friendly nod and smile from many of them.

My allotment in full bloom

I do not take any active part now in the allotment management that I used To run but I went there to strim my plot and I could not help being overwhelmed and moved by the profligacy of nature. How brilliant nature was in creating its many forms. The pictures below give just a small impression. If we only inhabit supermarkets how come we see plants in their full glory.

A zoom call on joy

I went home via a fish and chip shop that had on offer a very substantial piece of cod with very fresh chips. They were cooked in fresh batter, you can always tell. This was the Friday evening of the Scientific and Medical Network who have a virtual pub. It is theoretically the summer break but people missed it so much that a summer program was organized so there was no break.

There is a lot we can say about joy but I found a little piece that pretty much sums it up.

Don’t aim at joy.
Joy is dynamic. Joy is life.

You cannot find joy. There’s no path.
In fact, joy finds you when you no longer seek it.

It’s true.

If you seek joy, it’s because you don’t possess it.
If you let it find you, it’s because you trust life.

And remember,
not needing joy is a joy in itself…

During the session there came a time when we were invited to break into groups for more discussion on things that were joyful.  The host was a bit uncertain about the number of people per group, and suggested 10 people.  I who have had more experience suggested four people.  I said to the group that due to the subject matter that would not be enough time. Anyway, we went into the groups and sure enough at the end we found that we were all barely getting into the subject before we had to close.

I told everyone that you do not know what you know until you tell someone. That’s a little bit of a riddle but I found it to be very true over the years

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