My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Father in Law is dying.  I've been hesitant to blog about this as it seems such a personal subject.  I didn't want to seem to be gossiping, or fishing for sympathy, or taking a morbid interest in someone else's passing.  But now I feel that if I don't acknowledge what is happening, then I am just contributing to that 'ignoring' or 'hiding' of death that we seem to do so well in our society.

I want to honour him.  I want to honour death as a part of life.  I want to recognise him as an important part of my life, a part of my children's heritage.

Last night I stayed with him to nurse him through the night.  The family and a few friends are taking turns at this.  It's hard work.  He has been very confused, he battles mobility problems and now he is beginning to be in pain from the cancer that is killing him.  But is is also a special time.  It feels almost sacred.  How many other people in the world are watching through the night with me?  How many millions of people before me have done the duty of helping someone embark on the last great adventure in peace and comfort?  I felt a connection though the ages.  I could imagine a woman in a tent crouching next to a fire, holding an elder's hand.  Maybe it was fatigue induced, but it helped me.

The children are aware in their own way of what is happening.  We don't hide it from them.  We were discussing how sick 'Arparp' was and how he would die soon, but we didn't know when.  My little girl said softly, "I like Arparp.  My boy added, "I'll miss Arparp."  Such simple, truthful words.  And about all there is to say.


  1. Thinking of you and your family.

  2. A brave and honest post and a sad time for you all. My thoughts are with you and your family. Charlotte.

  3. My Dearest Lottie, Sharing this was the right thing to do! You are giving your Dad the greatest gift of your life by helping him through this most difficult time, I'm sure he knows you are there. Sadly I did not have this for my Dad and that is something I will regret for ever. Stay strong and take your 'lead' from your children they will ask when they want to know more.
    Thinking of you in the long dark hours.

  4. I would imagine it is a time of great reflection. Best warm wishes. Isn't life a Journey.

  5. Do as much as you can now. It is hard work, but it will be a comfort to you later, to know that you did as much as you could. Thinking of you, stay strong for your Husband and Children.

  6. Our thoughts are with you. Having been through a sudden passing away of my F.I.L last year I can only wish that we had had the time to say goodbye and honour his life. We still miss him. Love and hugs to you all, Lou, Mike and kiddies.

  7. Best wishes to you and your family. It's wonderful that you can be there for him. Love Bridget x


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