August 10th 2018

“Keep your eyes open, Pet”
“They are open!”
“They’re not!”
“They are! Look! See? * pointing at her eyes and opening them wide *You’re an eejit”
“I’m not an eejit, I’m telling you your eyes are closed”
“They’re not!”
….Continue for 10 minutes until I get a photo….with her eyes closed….

Gail was born in Hong Kong as her Father was stationed there, both were British and from the North-East of England but Gail’s gorgeous eyes had many thinking she did have some Chinese blood in her. I used to tease her about it all the time. Particularly when I wanted to take a photo of her and see those eyes.

“Gail’s Cremation is on August 29th with a Celebration of Life after in Gail’s favourite Bar / Restaurant. Anyone who wants to come please contact me for details. BTW Don’t feel you need to tell me you can’t come or don’t feel it’s right because you’ve not met her / seen us in 10 years etc. I understand that. It’s fine. Your thoughts and words have been enough.

Donations to Lupus UK – Get this right here, right now, it’s that fucking disease she died from. I don’t care what it says on the certificate – or the Cat Protection. Or flowers if you prefer. “

The last two paragraphs accompanied the picture on social media. One of Gail’s best friends was away for two weeks after her death and then my Son was on holiday in Canada when she got back. It meant a long delay in the funeral process – one that didn’t do me any good – but it was necessary and I’m glad I did it as I did it for Gail not me.

The last paragraph was significant. It’ s still not something I’ve come to terms with a year later and something I am unlikely to ever get peace from.

Gail’s death certificate stated she died from multiple organ failure and liver cirrhosis with the liver disease caused by alcohol. Nowhere does it say she drunk to ease the pain from the inflammation in her joints caused by Lupus. It would never say that. As the hospital kept telling me – though I already knew – she didn’t die from Lupus. But there’s the rub. No-one ever does. The bloody disease just takes people out and nobody knows about it or funds ways of investigating it because it never appears on any death certificates. It’s the ultimate silent killer.

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