I've passed on the news to my cousin and my aunt, who is being sensible and supportive. It helps that as a geriatric nurse she's sat with hundreds of dying people and dealt with their families; so, despite her sorrow at losing a brother-in-law, she's taking Dad's death quite calmly too. She'll be going to see Mum in an hour or two, though I suspect that Mum will be so devastated that she won't be able to take much in.
I've just been to the shop. It's a lovely bright day, not too warm, and I found myself breathing in the scents of the late summer flowers and the trees, and thinking "Dad will miss his garden." It's going to be very strange going home now; there'll be all the things that are – I still haven't got used to that were – his, but not him any more.
It's going to be good, I think, that the last times I saw and spoke with him were good: him standing with Mum at the front of the house, waving goodbye as we set off home after our holiday in August; talking on the 'phone with him last week, when he sounded a little ill but quite content. As he said to my sister not long ago, he was happy with the way that his life had turned out; not that he didn't want to get well again, but that he could go without great regret if that weren't granted him.
Thank you all again, very much, for all your kind wishes and thoughts. I can't think of anything that I need from any of you just now, but I am keeping your offers in mind, and I promise I will let you know if there is anything you can do for me.