I can’t write of anything else tonight, because our dear friend Kenny died this evening. I went to see him this lunchtime and I knew it couldn’t be long. I went back at 4, promised his wife and son that I wouldn’t leave him alone and they went home – it was an immense strain on Muriel to see him so near the end.
Russell (blog names just aren’t appropriate tonight) came along at 6 and, in his turn, persuaded me to leave. Kenny was awake and aware all day, but couldn’t speak and could only gesture occasionally. I’m sure he could hear me, he knew when someone else came in the room, his expression changed and his eyes turned to the door. Russell phoned at 6.30 to say that he had died in his arms. We both went to tell Muriel and I took her and her son back to the hospital, where her daughter and son-in-law were waiting. We all said goodbye to Kenny, and I left Muriel with her family.
I appreciate the time I spent with my dear good friend and I appreciate the Sage’s (well okay, a blog name can come into its own) kindness in taking on himself the final burden. I was reluctant to leave in one way, but all has been done with respect and love.
Death is never easy, we’ve all been bereaved in one way or another, most of you will understand and sympathise with Muriel and her family. Kenny was 92 and one cannot describe a long and happy life followed by a short illness as a great tragedy, except to those who are closest to him. All the same, it’s been hard. Not hard like those who suffer right now in Syria, for example, but one person’s tragedy cannot be compared to that of another and each has to be borne as a fresh one.
Kenny retired at 65 and came immediately to help the Sage’s mother as a gardener and handyman. When she died, he stayed on to caretake, and stayed with us for the next twenty years. In the end, he travelled the few hundred yards between his house and ours on his motorised wheelchair. After he finally stopped working at the age of 88, he still popped back once a week or so to see Dilly and the babies. He has been a dear and loyal friend, one of those people to whom you could turn at any time, and we will miss him terribly.