1 EAGLETON NOTES: Last Man Standing

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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Last Man Standing

In July I wrote a post entitled Mo about a very old friendship and Mo's demise in June.

In late summer 2012 I drove Mo and her sister-in-law by marriage, Di, from Di's home near Liverpool to a villa in the small village of Belforte in Tuscany via France, Switzerland and the Italian Lakes. It was Mo's 70th and she had treated us, her daughters and son-in-law to a holiday in a villa there. I blogged about it at the time.

Di had gone to Canada for the celebration of Mo's life and her son, Ben, had stood in for me to read the eulogy that I had written. Just over a week ago Di, a robust lady if ever there was one, died suddenly. 

Mo's daughters,  for whom Auntie Di was very special, came over from Canada. I am, coincidentally, on The Wirral less than 20 miles away.

Today I attended the celebration service for Di's life. The church was packed. I don't think that I have seen as many people at a funeral service outside of Lewis.

I've been acquainted with Di for nearly 60 years. She was a lady who was proud to be an 'old-fashioned' wife and mother for whom family was everything. However, today I learned so much about her from the eulogy that I did not know. She was, indeed, a special lady.

The comment that disturbed me, though, was that, of the trio, I was the 'last man standing'.

Di, Fiona, Mo, Heather, Jefferey at Belforte. I'm taking the photo! 

32 comments:

  1. Such moments give those left behind a keener sense of their own mortality. For Mo and for Di you must keep on keeping on - relishing each day that dawns.

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  2. Di looks so hale and hearty in the photo that I imagine she could live forever!
    Graham, I can't imagine how it is to be the last man standing and I'm especially sorry you have lost two friends in such a short time.

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    1. Kylie, Di was very hale and hearty which goes to show how unexpected life's end can be.

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  3. What beautiful, beautiful women. I am so sorry for your loss, Graham but think how much you have gained in your life for having known them. What a gorgeous, happy photo you have shown us here. xx

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    1. Kay, my life has been immeasurably richer having such friends.

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  4. Last man standing attracts your attention. Many more happy years.

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  5. Just keep standing Graham; it's what life's all about!

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    1. Cro, whilst we can stand and know that we are standing life is pretty good in my book.

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  6. So sorry to read this, Graham. What a year ... I do like the photo you've included, and I imagine you have a tonne more of you and the merry gang.

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    1. Pipistrello, I have a lifetime of photos which bring back wonderful memories of things done together.

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  7. Of the trio, two were women - so you have always been the ONlY man standing!
    It must be very sad to lose two such close friends in such a short space of time. For Di, I am glad she died suddenly and did not have to suffer a long decline with a lot of pain and discomfort. That is how I also think of Steve's death who would have been 50 at the end of this month.
    I am sure you look at this and all the other photos and can smile through the tears.

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    1. Meike, I think I'm still at the stage of finding it hard to believe that they are no longer there. As they lived so far from me we didn't meet that often but Mo and I talked a lot.

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  8. For sure you are not the only woman standing! I know what you mean though. It is a tactless thing to say. When my mother in law reached 103 she had become rather tired of not having any contemporaries left. It was so tiresome only having young things of 85 to chat about the olden days with....

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    1. Jenny, it didn't feel like it was being tactless to be honest. On the subject of 'the old days' the daughters are still at the stage of asking what experiences their Mum and I shared.

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  9. Keep standing please GB !!!
    I'm glad that both lovely women are remembered with so much happiness. I just can't get used to losing people and the finality of death but have reached a stage in life where it is everywhere and I'm just grateful to be here. Xxx

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    1. Fiona, as I am quite a few years ahead of you I'm sad to say that I am almost at the stage of getting used to people departing and thus having fewer people with whom to share memories.

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  10. GB, of all the men still standing, you are one of my favorites.

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friends. This is a lesson in looking forward - if we live long enough, we will all be walking in your shoes. As Hamlet said, "There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life..."

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  11. Don't be concerned, Graham...the others are sitting down. :)

    Yes...we are at "that" stage in our lives when we have put together more years behind us than we will have ahead of us...if you understand my muddling explantion! :)

    Keep standing...but do sit down when your legs and back grow tired. I do! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lee. The words of someone grounded in common sense.

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  12. What do you mean, "I was the last man standing?" No. Not you, surely. You and I must live to see what happens next and next and next and next. Right?

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    1. Mrs Thyme, you're absolutely right: we must live for ever!

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  13. bjbrook36@gmail.com19 October 2018 at 09:51

    umpteenth try to post a comment......
    If you keep standing for long enough to tell the daughters and grandchildren some little snippets of stuff about their mums that they didn’t already know they wil love you forever.

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  14. 'As time goes on I am surprised to find I am required to play the role of an increasing older person' - Ashly Brilliant.
    Hugs to you from down here Geeb x

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    1. Thank you so much, Kate. Surprise doesn't begin to describe my feeling!

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  15. How sad, Graham. The deaths of friends always come as a shock, don’t they, even if you’re expecting them, and each marks the end of a stage in one’s own life. My sympathies x

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    1. Thank you, Frances. Friends' deaths certainly come as a shock when they come out of the blue. On the other hand I think it a better way to go than many of the alternatives.

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  16. So sorry for your loss of another old friend, Graham! I'm sure it was a comfort for her family that you were able to attend the funeral/celebration of her life, though. And somehow, I think it's also often helpful for oneself as well when one is able to partake. My own experience still limited, but growing... You say 'I learned so much about her from the eulogy that I did not know'. I've been thinking about that on and off lately, for a variety of reasons, that sometimes we keep "getting to know" people even after they passed out of this life. I'm also reminded by these words of yours now that at my dad's funeral one old workmate of his (unknown to me) turned up quite unexpectedly, and also said a few words, "adding to the picture" of dad as no one else would have been able to do.

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    1. Thank you, Monica. It can be amazing what one learns at funerals.

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