I made sounds at the John Radcliffe hospital yesterday I never expected to make. Or even knew I could make. Sounds of keening, howling, inconsolable, incomprehensible grief, sorrow, despair and darkness.
Our beautiful, hilarious, exceptional dude was found unconscious in the bath in the unit before a planned trip to the Oxford Bus Company. The psychiatrist from the unit who called me at work around 10am to say that LB had been taken to hospital, gave no steer he was pretty much dead. I asked her (as an anxiety induced after thought) if he was conscious when he left the unit in the ambulance. She said they’d cleared his airway but he hadn’t regained consciousness. She made no suggestion I should urgently go to the hospital or that I should go with someone. It was a care less call. Much like the ‘care’ he’d always experienced outside home and school.
I arrived at the hospital twenty or so minutes later, with a work colleague who (so, so kindly) insisted on coming with me. I was immediately faced with a LB has a ‘dead heart only kept alive by a ventilator’ story. This news generated my, to that point, unknown sounds.
I hugged him while he died.
The combination of work mate, A&E staff and my mate Mary, who works there, was outstanding as we gathered the kids and sat in the ‘relatives’ room. We will forever be grateful for their care and sensitive attention.
We are now in a space I can’t describe.
Tom hopes LB is hanging out with the old comedians he loved watching. Having a bit of banter. I can’t move beyond wondering how a hospital unit, with only four or five patients, who made such a fucking fuss about asking LB’s permission for us to visit on a daily basis, could let him die in the bath.