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He refuses all fear

June 14, 2018

until the final seven days. From the moment my mother dies, terror becomes an added instrument of torture. Everything stays the same, propped up in bed, no cooling fan ever quite strong enough or in the right place and a reluctance to eat that turns his face the colour of newsprint. Everything is different, defeatist hints become bald statements of no hope, no-one alive matters enough now she has gone, dejected suffering swells into nihilistic terminal cancer. As he bed swaps with my Mum at the hospice, foreboding controls him. Bedside visitors are theatrically waved away, windows closed to turn off outside, no cheesy tactics change his desire to match my mother. Two hours of Youtube featuring the greatest football match ever played could just as well be Shirley Bassey live in London. Swindon Town, 3-0 up, relinquish their lead then fight on to win 4-3. Swindon are promoted to the Premier League. Today, at the hospice, Swindon are 3-0 behind and lose. My Dad is dead.

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