Tag Archives: death

An Announcement

Hi Everyone. I shall be hovering rather erratically around this blog in the next few days. So I thought I would say why and prevent the thousands of you from going into a period of excited anticipation in the hope that some terrible thing had happened to me and would I ever recover etc etc. I’m fine!

Yesterday morning (3rd May) one of my brothers, Rick, had a sudden heart attack and died. So I shall be doing my best to get to his funeral on Friday which is a four-hour drive away.

Four years ago Rick caught a viral infection in his eyes and went blind in one eye and largely blind in the other. Two years ago he had both legs amputated and was just now learning again to walk on his artificial limbs. He was having a race with his youngest grandson as to which one of them would learn to walk first! His passing, despite these setbacks, has naturally come as a big shock.

So all in all I shall only spasmodically attend to comments and the like – if at all. There are stories waiting in line to be posted so these will still appear, but the numbering will be a bit messed up!

With Covid doing its thing, income here has been a little tight, so this year Rick had been paying my rent – so I owe him one.

A little bit about him can be found HERE.

Thanks

Bruce

Poem 104: Let no petal

Please recall when times were cloudless;
Then flowers of laughter strewed the way.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Governments scream in rabid blindness:
This is how you’ll die today.
Please recall when times were cloudless.

Dying grandma faces vastness;
All alone she strives to pray.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Parents, children, spouses - cheerless;
No held hands; no words to say.
Please recall when times were cloudless.

A little child knows no kindness;
Face the music come what may.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

Uncared for corpses, lifeless, worthless;
Governor’s greatness, no dismay.
Please recall when times were cloudless.
Let no petal fall in darkness.

To hear the poem read aloud click HERE.

2099. Putting the garden to sleep

Haralambus (known as Harry) and Hughina (known as May) Pfahlert were well into their retirement years. Harry’s main interest was the garden. With late autumn approaching he had been busy tidying the garden so that at the end of winter all the back-breaking work would be done and it would be less of a hassle come spring.

Well dear, said Harry to May after two weeks of extensive labour in the garden, all is done. Everything is weeded. Everything is fertilized. Leaves are dug in or burnt and the ashes hoed in. Mulch has been spread. Shrubs sensitive to the winter cold have been covered. I might be weary, but I’m well satisfied. The garden has been put to sleep. Let it snow! Let it snow!

It was such a pleasure in winter to view the snowed-in garden through the living room window, with the log fire roaring away and the smell of cinnamon buns cooking in the oven. All done! All done! One could enjoy the order of it all and look forward to the chaos of new life!

It was such a pity that Harry died in his sleep that very night.

2069. Last words

I’ve been lying on my back in this coffin for three days now. I hate lying on my back. The coffin’s in a spare room at my sister’s house. Can’t feel a thing of course but I can still see and hear. My sister keeps “coming for a look”. She’s forever shutting my eyes. Last thing I heard her say was, “He keeps opening his eyes. It’s so grotesque having a dead person stare back at you.” Little does she know.

I dare say soon they’ll be putting the lid on permanently. That’ll be a relief. I’m tired of people “coming for a look”. Just yesterday my old Aunt Madge called in and said while peering into the coffin, “He never did much with his life, did he?” To which Uncle Vernon added, “In some ways it’s a mercy he’s dead. Can’t wait to get my hands on all that money though.”

Just an hour or so ago, I heard Milly Blinkers (she’s a cousin – or was) say, “They reckon he had so much money he didn’t know what to do with it. I suppose he didn’t leave a will?” She’s always been money-grabbing, that Milly cousin. Well, for the record I did leave a will, and Milly’s not getting a penny. I was dying to say that out loud to her, but corpses can’t breathe or move so that put an end to that.

I have no idea why my accountant needed to call in before the funeral. He had a look at me and said to my sister, “We’ll talk things over in the next room.” I dare say he was hoping to get a sizeable chunk of my savings. As my late mother used to say, “It never takes long for the vultures to come out of the woodwork.” She was always mixing her metaphors – my mother.

Here they come now to put the lid on. They’re all giving the undertaker a hand. Oh such a tearful moment! That’ll be all from me for now – in fact, forever. It’s a shame I don’t have a few minutes more. I’d die wanting to hear their reaction when they discover there’s not a penny in my bank account.

2053. Dora didn’t have a cat

When Bridie went shopping for stuff for the evening meal she had no idea it was all a waste of time. She would be dead as a doornail when the time came for her to peel a potato. She’d be sprawled on the kitchen floor, potato peeler in hand, and surrounded by four uncooked chicken drumsticks haphazardly lying on the kitchen linoleum.

Luckily the cat would spend the next few days enjoying the drumsticks, because Bridie and her medical event weren’t discovered until Wednesday and she had dropped dead on the Monday.

Dora from next door had made the discovery when she noticed that Bridie’s kitchen window had not been shut for the last two days. Bridie had always been careful with security. One had to take special care when one lived alone. Rather foolishly, when Dora discovered the two-day dead corpse she phoned for an ambulance! As if the ambulance people could work a miracle and bring a completely dead (as a doornail) corpse back to life!

Dora had been just about ready to go into town when she thought she had better check on the open kitchen window next door. The discovery of course threw a spanner in the works. It was now late afternoon and Dora still hadn’t got anything for the evening meal.

When Dora went shopping for stuff for the evening meal she had no idea it was all a waste of time. She would be dead as a doornail when the time came for her to crush a couple of garlic cloves. She’d be sprawled on the kitchen floor, garlic press in hand, and surrounded by three unchopped carrots haphazardly lying on the kitchen linoleum.

Fortunately Dora didn’t have a cat; fortunate because cats don’t eat carrots.

2049. Bernice’s murderous plots

Bernice had spent ages (possibly years) plotting the undetectably best way to murder her brother. You see, their mother was old. And rich. Exceedingly rich. Bernice wanted it all.

Their mother – whose name was Hilda – lived in the most beautiful house on a beautiful hill with a beautiful garden and even more beautiful view. Bernice’s brother – whose name was Jules – had his eyes on the house. “You keep two thirds of the money and I’ll take a third of the money plus the house.” On the surface Bernice agreed, but… Bernice wanted it all.

Things were getting urgent. Hilda was all of fifty-nine – which to younger people seemed old. She still lived alone and managed well, but all it would take would be for an epidemic to sweep the world and she’d be packing her bags for eternity like there was no tomorrow. The urgent murder of Jules would not only cover Bernice in good fortune but would in all likelihood provide enough grief to finish Hilda off.

Jules was unmarried – in fact totally unattached. There would be no spouse or partner or kids challenging Bernice’s windfall. Then Lady Luck stepped in. Jules took ill and died without any prompting whatsoever from Bernice.

Mother Hilda was grief-stricken. But would Hilda die? Oh no! Bernice described her mother as “that old cow who was no good anymore for milking but who wouldn’t kick the bucket.”

Then the worst happened. Oh tragedy of tragedies. Some things are on a par with catastrophic viruses. Widow Hilda got married; this time to a man much younger than herself.

“Is there no justice in the world?” screamed Bernice. “Do I not matter? Under no circumstance will I ever consider that usurper to be any sort of stepfather. Great balls of fire, he’s about my age and riddled with covetous ambition.” She loathed him with a vengeance.

Bernice began to plot.

2026. A place to retire

What an exciting thing to happen! Charmaine and Tristram had spent a lifetime raising three children and slogging their guts out. Now that the children had flown the nest, and Charmaine and Tristram had both retired, they made a decision to sell their house and move to a smaller house in a less busy environment where peace could reign in their sunset years.

But the exciting thing was this: a television company had issued an invitation for their house-searching to be filmed! The television compere would show them houses and hopefully before long a suitable house would rear its head. And rear its head it did; so fast and so suddenly!

It was the perfect house; with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms and everything else. The kitchen was wonderful. The view was spectacular. The garden was big and challenging enough to keep their joint gardening interest alive. Charmaine and Tristram put in an offer.

The offer was accepted! They could move in two weeks. How exciting is that?

A week passed and Charmaine and Tristram packed lots and lots of stuff into boxes. Then on the eighth day, Tristram suddenly died. In his sleep. His unexpected death was a great stimulus to the success of the TV program.

(Footnote: Once again I’m calling for suggestions for an opening sentence. Please leave one sentence in the comments which I shall delete after jotting it down (so as not to mess up the comments on this story). Only one suggestion per person – if at all! The only reward will be a link back to your own blog, and if you don’t have a blog than like marrying Prince Harry it will be for the prestige and glory (but without the money) There have been 9 contributions so far. Thank you. More welcome!).

Herb: It sure wasn’t everyday that you see one, that’s for sure.

Yvonne: “I’ll really have to think about your offer,” said Alida.

Max: Sam and Molly bought a 1966 Mustang from Molly’s dad but when driving away they heard something rattling in the door panel.

Noelle: The sky outside the open window was dark with the portent of a storm.

Uma: Every time the one-legged raven returned to the village and filled the night with its grating caws, someone died the next afternoon and the skies wept till the funerals.

Inese: Trudy knew better than to be alone with Mr Hughes.

Doug Jacquier: If he had his time again, Clarence wouldn’t have bought the giraffe.

Nitin: A trumpet, a crumpet and a horse walked into a bar.

Dumbestbloggerever: I married Prince Harry for prestige and money.

1998. Practical Felicity

Felicity was at least eighty-six years old. She was still trim and able enough to live on her own, except she didn’t live on her own. She lived with her husband, Laughton, who was eighty-nine. When their dog of thirteen years took ill he was too big and heavy for them to lift it into the car to take to the animal care shelter. They had to get the neighbour over to give a hand. Of course, the neighbour didn’t mind.

But that’s not what this story is about. This story is about how a storm blew in from nowhere and decimated the entire village. The neighbours seem to have disappeared. Laughton was killed by a piece of flying roofing. Felicity was literally alone.

Felicity knew that the electricity and water wouldn’t be turned on for days – such was the serious extent of the storm. She also knew that it could be days before anyone reached her house and could remove Laughton’s body.

Dear practical Felicity! She thought if she hurried, before all the cold escaped from the cabinet freezer, she could perhaps put Laughton’s body in there to freeze until help arrived. Laughton was old and light but an enormous weight for Felicity to push and shove. First she got one ankle on the edge of the freeze, and then the other. Gradually she worked to the knees. Once his bottom was over the edge the whole corpse slithered into the freezer. It had taken Felicity well over an hour and she was exhausted. Everything had happened so fast. It was as if she was in a bad dream.

She went to close the freezer lid. It wouldn’t shut. Rigor mortis had set in and Laughton’s knees were sticking up above the closing level.

It wasn’t until then that Felicity burst into tears.

1993. Body in the woodshed

When Dawn saw the dead body in her woodshed she didn’t know what to do next. Clearly the body had died several hours earlier. Rigor mortis had already begun to set in. Dawn had once worked as a nurse so she knew these things. Trying to revive the body was a waste of time. It was as dead as the wood in her woodshed.

Dawn was a practical woman to the hilt. She remained absolutely calm. She surveyed the situation as if she was in a fabric shop selecting a pattern for a proposed table runner. What to do with the body? She shut the woodshed door and went back into the house.

It wasn’t winter. It wasn’t cold. There would be no need for her to get firewood for a couple of months. She had bought an air ticket for her husband to go to Hawaii on a vacation for several months. They did that in their marriage once every decade or so. It cleared the air and they could start afresh. He had left yesterday, so the story would go. Dawn would simply leave the body in the woodshed until winter.

That way the coroner would have difficulty determining the cause of death of her husband. “But I thought he was having a great time in Hawaii.”

1992. Things that quickly fade

Annette loved flowers. She always had several vases of flowers in her living room and a little retro corkless medicine bottle on the window sill of the kitchen with a sprig of rosemary and a twiglet of this and that.

When her husband died the undertaker quietly asked Annette in the cemetery if she wished to have the flowers sitting on the coffin when it was lowered or would she prefer that the flowers were placed on top of the grave once it was filled in.

“Oh God no!” exclaimed Annette, speaking slightly louder than the undertaker. “I’m taking all the flowers home!” And she did! It’s not that she didn’t love her husband. But what use are flowers dying on a grave? Flowers from the funeral arranged in her living room were a much better reminder of her sad loss and a heart-felt tribute to her husband. That way too she could appreciate in full the kindness of the people who had sent condoling flowers.

Great-aunt Matilde paid a sympathy visit, mainly because Annette always served with a mug of coffee some homemade chocolate chip cookies that used ground oatmeal, nuts, and lots and lots of extra chocolate. In fact, Annette grated into the mixture several chocolate bars more than the recipe called for.

“I think flowers at funerals are a complete waste of money,” declared great-aunt Matilde surveying the living room bouquets. “When I die I don’t want people spending money on things that quickly fade.”

As occasionally happens, great-aunt Matilde was 88. She went home and sadly passed away shortly after. Annette arranged the surviving living room flowers and took them to place on great-aunt Matilde’s filled-in flowerless grave.

Not a dime was spent on things that quickly fade.