Author Topic: Where is Gert  (Read 13467 times)

Offline Gertbysea

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Where is Gert
« on: February 10, 2015, 05:40:40 am »


On death and dying.

I have actually been writing this  message  for some months. Well since Ted was diagnosed with terminal Cancer  in Sept 2014.

A dear and loving  friend said " we don't do death well" . Very true but it inspired me to do better. We all must do better as we are all growing older and face this inevitable death. More conversation and a lot less stalling and fluffing about.

I have found dealing with the practicalities of death  and dying  interesting. As a nurse, pragmatic and a Scorpio I had no problems dealing with the death of you and yours in a practical way but It surprised me somewhat to realise it ain't the same when it happened to me.

Ted would agree he was not the best of husbands  and  it has been a very interesting marriage.  Ted is eclectic in his tastes for women, music and books which amuses me no end. All of it. We had many good years, some wonderful and some the pits.

The last few years and indeed the last few months have been fraught with challenges but faced head on with good intentions  and at times  a ribald good humour when talking of past delights.

Ted agreed that it is easier to die than to stay. This this is definitely true. To watch your loved one suffer such a crap ending is trying.

Some advice from Ted.

"At our age and with a certain knowledge get your wills up to date. Make Enduring Powers of Attorney.  Make an Advanced Health Directive  and say what you wanna say now."

I might add also get your exit plans in order. If you do not want a fuss and funeral  put it in writing. Ted"s brother died unexpectedly last week. He was only 93. Old you say. He sure was but he had many more years than ever was expected having been a prisoner of was for many years working on the Burma Railway. Poor Bill expected to live to his mother's age of 104. Ted too. Anyway I digress, the point is that Bill did not want a fuss or funeral but having failed to make his point they did it anyway.

Sadly Bill did not get to hear the tributes paid to him.

After much discussion with Ted over more than a few glasses of bubbles he decided that it was best to say his farewells while he was still here to do so and to see and hear what his friends and relatives might have to say. It has proved very interesting indeed.  We have had a lot of laughs over the antics and remembered good times he and we have had. People have sent photos which hopefully will never be published in our time though our grandkids might then think we were quite the hoot in our time. Several sent pics of Ted quite naked sauntering up the street heading for home after neighbourhood parties. It was always his party ending party trick to throw off all inhibitions on the way home.  Not always a good look.

Others are at a loss for words. It is hard to say goodbye and that is why in my small way I want to do better and encourage others to do better when facing the death of a loved one. We are all different of course. It is a very hard task but in my case and in our family we can talk about it openly. We are saying what needs to be said, dealing with the endless practicalities such as closing a business down, closing bank accounts, changing names on documents, making new wills, enduring powers of attorney and the all important Active Health Directive.

Ted has given many cherished things away to friends and family so he can see the joy or laughter or even the dismay on their faces. He has donated all his Aviation Books to a user friendly museum. We are gradually donating and giving other books away. He is still unsure of what to do with his many full orchestral music scores for Symphony and Concerto. It will be a shame if they end up as landfill.

I will, after popping in a photo of Ted which I could not resist taking on a recent visit to the doctor, ask Judy to lock this thread.

I know you will all be saddened by this news and most likely want to express how you feel and please know that all words are appreciated. So let us just take it as a given eh?

Ted is heading into the final phase and has chosen to die at the wonderful Palliative Care Hospital in Gordonvale just south of Cairns. He will know when he is ready to make that transition. For the moment we are doing ok at home. He can't walk far but he can still make it to the bar.

Here is his farewell. I might warn you Ted is not always politically correct but these are his words.

To my friends and acquaintances.
 
This is bad news  which I can no longer delay sending to you. Last September I was diagnosed with terminal cancer (bowel and liver), which was a real shock as there had been no evidence of the problem at all. At the time, I decided to keep this within my immediate family and a few very close friends until we knew more. Surgery and radiation were ruled out so the oncology specialists could only offer the wretched chemotherapy program with all its sickness and misery. Not worth it!
So I decided to continue leading as normal a life as possible until the end comes, which is what Iíve been doing.
 
It now looks as if the end is possibly only weeks rather than months away. Iím under palliative care at home and am reasonably comfortable and very well looked after. I can look back on a fortunate life of 85 years Ė a life with a lot of lucky breaks. I was lucky to have worked for QANTAS through the years when it was probably the best international airline in the world. I was lucky to have met and married Gretchen who has been a devoted and wonderful wife. I was lucky to have a daughter in a million and a son who has given us two beautiful granddaughters. I am grateful to have been born in Australia of British lineage and lucky to have spent the formative days of my youth in White Australia, which was a far more secure and friendly society than the multicultural mess we have today.
 
It has also been great to have so many good friends and to have enjoyed knowing you all. There have been lots of good times and lots of laughs And every shared laugh is a lucky experience. As I will probably not be around much longer Iíll say a fond farewell and wish you good health and happiness in the days and years ahead.
 
Best regards,
 
Ted Fitch

uh

This photo says it all. Can't be repaired and can't be sold.



Gretchen
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 07:03:39 am by Gertbysea »
Gretchen in Cairns, Australia

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep. Carl Sandburg.

Offline Gertbysea

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 11:23:50 pm »
Ted passed away peacefully yesterday at the Palliative  Care Hospital in Gordonvale just south of Cairns.

I cared for him at home until I was  physically  unable to do so. He spent just 5 days in this wonderful facility before he decided to up and go

Here is Ted's obituary.

The reference to Bankok is an inside joke as in all the years of travelling  he always managed to have a stopover in Bangkok  on his way to and from Europe travelling on QF1 in his favourite seat.

Gert


Seated in 1A, Tedís flight departed Cairns on St Patrickís Day 2015. A life well lived.

As the aircraft taxied smoothly along the runway Ted was heard to ask ďwhose shout is itĒ?

You can be well assured wherever Ted is going there will be a stopover in Bangkok!

Fare the well dear Ted and Happy Landings!

Ted will be privately cremated.




Gretchen in Cairns, Australia

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep. Carl Sandburg.

Offline Bootobethin

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2015, 12:29:58 am »
Oh Gert. Take care of yourself.
Thinking of you.

Offline cookie1

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Where is Gert
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2015, 12:37:36 am »
I waved to Ted as he headed to Bangkok Gert. I'm sure he went over here. Sending you an enormous hug, all my love and thoughts.
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Offline judydawn

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2015, 01:05:20 am »
Dear Gert, to say we've travelled this journey with you would not be right as we can only assume to know how difficult these past few months have been for you both but we have been there in spirit as you well know.  I don't think I have ever seen 2 people go through this the way you have and it's a credit to you both.  Sending lots of love and future support if and when needed, I'm sure there are many homes through Australia that would welcome you with open arms whenever you feel the need to get away for a holiday.  I wish you well for your future life, it will indeed be different from now on.


Judy from North Haven, South Australia

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Offline JulieO

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2015, 01:16:11 am »
Dear Gert,



xx

Bonsai

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2015, 02:59:23 am »


Thinking of you Gert - you and Ted have shown such dignity and love - can't think of a better way to manage the "trip via Bangkok"

Offline Cuilidh

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 03:05:48 am »
Dear Gert

Today is both a sad day and happy day, sad because of the loss of Ted but happy because he is at peace and flying high.  He will live on in your memories and those of your family.  Sending you a big hug and my heartfelt condolences to you at this time.
Marina from Melbourne and Guildford
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Offline Nikkit

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2015, 03:32:08 am »
Ah Gert, I send you love, hugs and a wish that you remember all the wonderful and not so wonderful times with Ted, eventually with a smile.
Even though I don't "know" you, I feel as though I know you - and Ted, and so bugger it, I am going to go pop the cork on a bottle of bubbles and "cheers to Ted on his final flight out - via Bangkok"

After all, it is 5 o'clock somewhere...

Nikki.xx


Offline Jamberie

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Re:
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2015, 03:39:43 am »
Dearest Gert, thinking ofyou and sending love and hugs xox
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Offline mab19

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2015, 04:19:33 am »
Dear Gert, my thoughts are with you at this sad time and sending you love and hugs.
The  man who said it can't be done should not interupt the woman doing it.

Offline obbie

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 04:25:08 am »
Gert, sending you big hugs from my family. :-* :-*
So glad I got to meet you and Ted..

here's to Ted....
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Offline Wonder

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 04:42:35 am »
Dear Gert I had missed your initial notice about Ted's diagnosis so was very surprised to see this one. It sounds like you prepared well, and have been able to remember both good times and bad and share them with Ted. My thoughts are with you and your family and friends. All the best through this difficult time.

Offline Gertbysea

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Where is Gert
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2015, 06:34:35 am »
Oh my wordy Lordy this just arrived on my doorstep. Absolutely glorious and luscious.

So wonderful and unexpected and much appreciated. I wish I could share the aroma. Cheered me up no end.



You are all so generous with your thoughts and condolences not to mention the beautiful flowers. I am truly blessed to have such friends.

Thank you.

Gretchen
Gretchen in Cairns, Australia

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep. Carl Sandburg.

Offline Gertbysea

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Re: Where is Gert
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 06:36:32 am »
I fear I may weep a bit and obviously have to keep busy so I will open a bottle of bubbles sit and enjoy these flowers.
Gretchen in Cairns, Australia

Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep. Carl Sandburg.