Nick died at the weekend. Sudden, and totally unexpected.
He had gone out for lunch with Sophie, a lovely carer / friend who takes him out on a Saturday, and I’d seen him that morning and taken him his paper and had our usual Saturday cup of coffee together before she arrived. He was wearing a favourite yellow shirt that I’d ironed and recently repaired after he’d popped all the front buttons off.
A normal Saturday. I was going to go for my afternoon swim and come back later to bring him some extra bit of shopping – already forgotten what – and had planned to spend the evening with him, watching TV and cooking dinner.
I had been upset to see him that morning, his movements more violent than ever, legs kicking and body contorting wildly like someone being eaten alive by ants.
“Can you not get comfortable, bro?”
He’d already burst the pressure cushion brought by the District Nurses. But he said no, he was fine, and looking forward to his lunch out with Sophie.
He didn’t look fine. His chorea was merciless. I’ve got to get him a meds review, I thought. Something has to be done to ease this.
Be careful what you wish for, they say…
I was just leaving the house with my swimming things when my mobile rang. The phone had been set to silent and I saw that I’d had some missed calls.
He’d been at the pub. He’d been reaching for his glass of wine. He just…went.
Paramedics came but it was already over. I got the call that everybody dreads, and Simon and I drove up there, shaking. Tell me it can’t be true.
He looked so comfortable though. It was the first time in years that I’d seen him perfectly still.
Be careful what you wish for. But actually, in between the shock and the disbelief and the – actually that’s mostly it right now, the shock and disbelief - I am glad. If there was anything I could have wished for him, it was to go like this. And typical Nick - in the pub.