My Dad’s a Goldfish – swimming into the wide blue yonder

I’ve been thinking about how to write this blog post for the last few days, wanting it to be meaningful and powerful and …I don’t know what. In the end there’s only one thing to say right now:
The Goldfish died the evening of December 3rd. Although we thought we were prepared for it to happen at any time, it turns out we weren’t and we are still trying to process it. The funeral is tomorrow (Wednesday 10th) and I am both longing for it to be over and dreading it.
He had a seizure and lost consciousness. The ambulance came within minutes and headed for the hospital. He stopped breathing just as they turned into the hospital. I am glad of that. Although the hospital had the Do Not Resuscitate form, I’m not sure they would take time to look through the paperwork and so he was spared that final indignity.
His last couple of days were good. We thought he was recovering from the bout of pneumonia he had. We had got him a wonderful new wheelchair a couple of weeks before so his last two weeks were comfortable – in his old wheelchair he tipped to one side and what, to us, seemed an alarming angle, though he didn’t seem to think so. He was causing trauma to his shoulder and side and the new chair enabled him to sit straight and at ease. He had an outing in the sunshine on Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon he was full of smiles. In the evening he enjoyed homemade lentil soup with bread followed by sticky toffee pudding with thick cream.
And three hours later he was gone.
I have almost a year’s worth of journal entries from the end of January last year up to December this year. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them. I am not sure if this is the last entry on this blog. I am not sure of anything right now.
I hope the Goldfish knew he was loved by me, Wee-sis and DH – and I hope he is at peace.

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25 thoughts on “My Dad’s a Goldfish – swimming into the wide blue yonder

  1. Mary you know I’m upset by this,but im glad it was quick at the end and your dad had a good 2 days before hand to make him happy. I will do my very best to be at the funeral. I have a hospital appointment in Dfs in the morning but providing all goes well I hope to be at the church. Your dad was a wonderful happy man most of the time and always had a story to tell and never minded if he was late for his next job. Also in private life he was always very kind to me. A good friend to many has been lost, but he will never be forgotten. God bless. xxx

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  2. A lovely man, and you did all that you could to make his last year/s the best. Glad to hear he had a couple of good days leading up to the end. And now at peace. Thinking of you today, knowing you’ll give him a good send off. Love to you all xx

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    • He did have a good send off, Cally. The minister did an excellent service, managing to describe the Goldfish’s character and present a true picture of the gentle, kind man he was. He also made us – and the farmers present – laugh at his record achievement of 186,000 successful inseminations.

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    • Thank you, Frangipani. We will remember his last couple of days and be glad they were good ones – and in time our memories will be more about him before he became ill.

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  3. Mary, I was so taken aback as I started to read your blog this morning….shocked and relieved for you and for your dad. As much as we love them and want them with us, their lives become struggle and sadness and …. well, you know what I mean. It is no life for them no matter how hard we try to make it comfortable and good. The quickness of his death is a blessing to him. I hope you will continue with your story from your journal and know that I am here — so far away — thinking of you. You did the very best that you could; you need to know that. Nancy

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    • Thank you, Nancy. Although in terms of miles you are far away, because of what we have been sharing, it feels like you are close. The funeral was yesterday and today I don’t realy know how I feel. The adrenaline which got me through the day has drained and I’m almost devoid of emotion right now. It is realy strange. Thank you for your support.

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  4. Mary – I’ve really enjoyed reading the posts on the Goldfish and have admired your strength and dedication in a difficult situation. I hope you decide to post the other Goldfish blogs in due course . His last few days sound lovely and I hope we’re all as lucky when our time comes to have someone tending to our needs as well as you did his. You’ve done him proud. Take care, Aideen x

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Aideen. I’m just glad we were able to keep him in his own home, surrounded by familiar things and he didn’t have to go into residential care.

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  5. Mary, I too was not expecting that when I sat down to read this morning – I really do pass on my sincere condolences to you all.

    Your excellent blog has made so many of us feel as if we we knew you, Wee Sis, Step Monster and, of course, your dear Dad.

    I do hope you keep blogging – if not about this then something else. Your writing really is excellent.

    If you feel ready and willing to share in the future, I will admit to wondering how Step Monster took the news….?

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    • Thank you for your condolences and for your lovely comments about the blog. I feel you have been part of a global support network with the other bloggers going through similar situations.
      I will probably write up more of my journal as blog posts – and I’ll update you ont he step-monster. All I’ll say now is some tacky floral tributes appeared.

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  6. Oh, Mary, I just read your post and feeling really blue about the Goldfish. Even though you have not written what this past year has been like for you with your dad, I can imagine you were a very dear daughter to him. It shows in your writing and I do hope you find the will and way to complete this story. So many of us have really cared about your relationship with the Goldfish. I’ll be thinking about you in these months ahead and send you big hugs. I plan to make lentil soup tomorrow and from now on will always think about your dad whenever I make lentil soup. xxx, Nancy

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    • Thank you, Nancy. It is much more difficult than I ever imagined it would be. It is lovely to know he had friends and supporters rooting for him all across the world. I hope the lentil soup was good. He loved homemade soup of all kinds but lentil was a definite favourite.
      I’ll definitely think about continuing the blog and filling in the gaps. Thank you for caring. I’ll be thinking of you when you make the move to take on your new caring role.

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      • Hi Mary, you will need this time to reflect and adjust. Fathers are such special people to us daughters, we miss them so much when they are gone. I do plan to stay in touch with these meaningful blogs I follow and will let you know if I start a new blog about care-taking for my mother-in-law with my husband. I have another idea ruminating based on my past encounters and compassion for my community about people like my neighbor, Miss D. Not sure which direction I’ll chose direction. Your observations and comments have been deeply appreciated on my blog. I will be making the lentil soup today and thinking about the Goldfish. Life just needs to slow down sometimes and making homemade soup is good for the soul.

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  7. Hello, Mary,being relatively new to this, I am still catching up on blogs. I’ve spent much of the last two hours with you and your dad. I am so sorry for your loss, but the fact that you kept a diary of your time with him is wonderful. I hope that your life is filled with the happiness you deserve and that positive new beginnings continue for you in your life. Clare

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