The evening before my friend Elfie went to Austria for the burial of her father I visited her to bring her the 'Amazing Grace' version by Joan Baez (cut of clapping noises) - I told about it in one of my last entries here. We burnt a CD with only this song & another CD with an 'Ave Maria' by 'Schubert' which sounds like a 'pastoral' church choir. (I don't like this 'Ave Maria' stuff, because I'm not catholic & I think this 'Maria' cult is just a stupid invention by the old catholic church)
There's one of these songs played before the preacher's funeral sermon & one afterwards. I recommanded the Amazing Grace to be played as the second song..
When later we sat in kitchen & got a pizza by a delivering service, she told me in details how her father had died. Of course I won't write here all details because some are too private. He had lung cancer in the last phase - they gave him morphine in the last months to release the pain. The end is suffocating.
They informed Elfie on Friday afternoon that he was about dying & she at once drove there with about 240 km per hour (you can do that in German highways) - she had the highest urge to see him still alive to bid him a last time fare-well.
She arrived there in time & she sat on his bed all evening, all the time holding him in her arms & it was about 2 o'clock in the night, when his struggle for breath got harder & harder, that she told him to let loose, that he should go home, that he'd meet his son 'there' (who died at the age of 18) & she would also see him one time again..
While she was telling me this, I got tears in my eyes & she started to cry - I would have hold her in my arms, but I still had that flue with medium sized fever, so didn't wanted to touch her, to not infect her.
My parents are very old, my mother is 85, my father 82 & sooner or later I'll have the bitter task to may accompony them to the point of death & I hope they won't suffer - I hope, that if that day shall come, they will slumber peaceful in bed while dying - not suffering a bad destroying sickness.
I really fear the day when it comes down to it, but on the other hand the mother of my mother still lives on & on & is 104 years old now - so there is hope that it won't be to soon!
Elfie told me, that when her father had died she called the night nurse & I don't know how they do it in Austria, but the nurse asked her, whether she wanted to 'wash' her father & Elfie did, what I never could do. & it was like the last service to him: - she washed him sorrowly, released him from some tubes, that were on his body, rubbed him with ointment put on a new clean shirt. This was the last love service service that she did to her father. - But really, I couldn't do that - washing the dead corpse of my father or mother - no definetly not!
Elfie's father was in a very bad health state since the last half year already & she had visited him (all the 3 or 4 hundred kilometers) about every one or two weekends. She told me, that in the last view weeks, he also wanted her to sleep close to him, to warm his dying body with her nearness - he hold her while sleeping with one hand on the nightdress, just to make sure, that she was there. Of course this was sometimes very unfomfortable for her, but she endured it, because she never never how long he still had to live.
It remembers me to King David in the bible - when he got very old & was short before dying, they laid a young girl to him in the night, to warm him through the night. - When I heard that story in my youth it seemed to me like that old man still needed 'fresh flesh', which in youth I thought as an sexual act or need - but meanwhile I understand - that if you're that old & weak & diminuished of all your strength of life again you feel like a baby & have the same needs - please take me in your arms & I feel quite save & happy..
I think Elfie, even if she was the black sheep of the family once, got a golden heart (well maybe with some black stains on normal life) but at least if comes down to the point. -
& this is like one of the strange parables of life: when she was about 17 or 19 she got pregnant. In that time - it were the late sixties - that was such a shame in small-town in Austria, that her father threw her out the house & refused any contact to her for at least 15 years - a really hard man in that time -
but now in the night, when he was dying (& the time before), Elfie was the closest person of all his family - his other daughter, who lives in the same town, was in that evening in another town - his wife was in that night the most time sleeping - the only one who stayed on guard until the last moment was Elfie.
Of course her sister came the next day. & the sister claimed within 2 days, that she would take the caravan of her father & her daughter the (brand-new) car of her father (together by the worth of about 50.000 Euros). They didn't even ask Elfie - they just shared the loot - how greedy they were! - but Elfie then signed, that she didn't want anything from the heir - she was the only one who assisted her father dying & that's enough.