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Monday, 27 February 2017

Day 5 – Post-Mortem Results, Planning The Funeral

I ironed Father's clothes, which psychologically was very difficult to do, but it had to be done. I picked Lucy up at 9.30am to go to Holme – on route we did some shopping in Sainsbury's at Hunstanton and then arrived at Holme at 10.40am.

A lady called Jackie from Lincoln Funeral Directors, arrived very promptly just before our appointment at 11am to discuss funeral arrangements. Just after she arrived, we had a phone call from the Coroner's Officer to say that the post-mortem had been completed and that Father had died of 'natural causes' and the results of this were:

Cause of death: Acute Cerebral Infarction, brought on by severe Cerebral Atherosclerosis

He also had a:
  • Urine Tract Infection
  • Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease
  • Bronchopneumonia (chest infection) of right lower lobe of lungs
  • Caused by old age and dementia
I was quite taken back by the fact that he had a stroke, Mother and I both guessed he had had a heart attack, mind you with his previous history of strokes, maybe it isn't exactly a surprise. But I was surprised by the other things listed eg: chest infection and a urine infection, obviously no one knew he had either of these! Father can now be taken from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by John Lincoln to their chapel of rest in Hunstanton.

We continued with arranging the funeral with Jackie. There is an awful long wait for the crematorium – the first available date with a suitable time was Monday 20th March at 10.45am at Mintlyn Crematorium, Lynn Road, Bawsey, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE32 1HB – this is now booked for those of you that would like to attend. Dress code: informal/birding attire! More details later this week. We are arranging something very different for after the funeral, which will appeal to the 'birders' amongst you, which will be the majority – more details about that another day!

Discussing the details of the funeral really stressed us out – there is so much to think about! Sorting and wording for the death announcement in the newspapers, music, order of service, what to do after the service etc etc! I also had no idea that you had to register the death yourself and pay £4.00 for each Death Certificate – no one in our family has ever had to deal with this, nobody close has ever died. Vivien and I have to go and collect the certificates tomorrow. Then of course, there is all the phone calls to social services, dept of works and pensions, banks and so on. I'm sure that organising my own wedding in 1992 was simpler!!! I still can't believe we are arranging a funeral for our dear father – its far more traumatic than I imagined it would be.

After Jackie left our house, we were all exhausted and wiped out mentally. Vivien and I went to get fish 'n' chips from 'Eric's' at Thornham – as we walked into the shop, I could see Eddie! I was very distraught by this point and just burst in tears and had a very comforting big hug from Eddie, thank you xxx. Returned to Holme and had our lunch. More discussions in the afternoon and phone calls arranging things. I made a 'Penny special salad' with garlic bread for tea and then spent ages writing up a big list of things to do.

If anyone has any nice or interesting old pictures of my father for us to use for the order of service and something else I'm planning to do, it would be very helpful please. A digital image would be the easiest and if you could email it to me at [pennyclarke@dsl.pipex.com] that would be lovely – thank you very much.

Again, thank you all for the continued messages of support and memories being sent daily by email and social media, it is very much appreciated.

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