You know when you’re in the adversity lane and just when you think life can’t get more calamitous, then a huge fucking semi-trailer of dreadful pulls in front of you, and another one big one behind you, and you’re stuck. You can’t pass it, you can’t stop, you just have to keep on going.

This week, while my beloved father is slowly ebbing away from life, barely awake, barely in the world, my brother has been rushed to hospital where he has had surgery on his lungs and heart. He is now in the Coronary Care Unit at a major hospital in Melbourne that is part spaceship, part city. It’s another world of machines that go ping, and terrible coffee.

He scored the Director of Thoracic Surgery to do the procedure, so well done him, only the best for us, and they are now working desperately to try to get him well enough to see my father before he passes.

It’s a timing issue and we have no control of the outcome or how things fall into or out-of-place but last night my father managed to rally enough strength to speak to his son on the phone. This moment of enormous courage on his behalf shows the true integrity and spirit of the man. Whatever his kids needed, they got, even if it took his last breath.

It was the saddest, most beautiful moment, and my brother wept down the line, I cried, and even stalwart medical staff cried behind the blue hospital curtains of sorrow.

Afterwards I got into the elevator to go home and there were seven firemen in full gear travelling down with us.

My husband asked me why I thought they were there.

I told him they had come to mop up the tears from the Coronary Care Unit.

My sister and I are now tag teaming between country Victoria where my parents are and the hospital in Melbourne where my brother is being care for.

My mother can’t leave Dad. Dad can’t leave his bed. My brother can’t leave hospital. It’s all a huge clusterfuck of grief, poignant acceptance, and grace.

I will leave you with this Monty Python sketch, because why not? Laughter is always important even when you’re in the adversity lane.



9 thoughts on “”

  1. Kate, there are no words really for what you are going through. When my mom died of lung cancer four years ago, the grief was enormous. I can only understand your pain from that perspective. To have the pain of your brother, well, that is just so unfair. But then, no one said life would be fair. I can only hope that your brother recovers, and that you are reunited as a family to farewell your father. Much love to you. xx

  2. So, so sorry you and your family are having such a crap time, Kate. If I was religious, I’d say you’re in my prayers. Since I’m not, I’ll just say may The Force be with you and I hope you manage to merge out of the adversity lane as best you can.

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