Saturday, November 19, 2005

I'm Not Dead Yet!

After a few weeks of blog inactivity and unanswered e-mails some fellow bloggers began to wonder if something extraordinary had happened to me.
I might have been ‘renditioned’ to some foreign state and denied all communication with the outside world.
Conversely I might suddenly have won millions on the lottery, bought myself a South Pacific island and been lying about smashed out of my gourd on coconut hooch whilst lissome dusky wahinis attended to my every whim. Or perhaps I’d fallen down a well.

However, in the reason-driven liberal world those who expressed concern regarding my whereabouts and condition universally conjectured that I’d probably been hit by a truck.
To the larger world I’d ceased to exist. Yet I still existed, I was just temporarily almost invisible.

Let me explain:

In late May my widowed mother was rushed into an ICU.
My eldest brother Ian flew back to the UK within hours of the news. I had to wait four days before I could take an "affordable" flight, my other brother Julian had to wait six days. None of us knew how the future would unfold.
Our mother was released from the ICU but was confined to a bed with a modest number of tubes stuck into her and oxygen as needed. If she recovered she would obviously require 24 –hour care, or she was simply We three going to die. After two weeks of daily visits our mother said she’d had enough and asked the doctors to let her die.
No evangelists showed up to fight for her "right to live". No lawyers for the hospital filed any motions. No Member of Parliament offered a diagnosis and Tony Blair did not comment or interrupt his schedule one jot.
We spent the next week and a half dealing with the funeral, the requisite municipal and governmental notifications and the estate. It was like ‘wedding-planning’ in reverse.
With everything organized as best as we could manage we left the probate process in the hands of the lawyers and returned to the US.
Living in the UK was not cheap. To give you an idea, ten gallons of gas cost $40. At the time Britons saved money by flying to New York to shop just for jeans and sneakers!
Every day spent in the UK cost us twice what we'd spend in the US and as we also weren't earning anything the effect was doubled yet again.
When we returned to the US the three of us were not only broke, we were in mor edebt than we had ever been. We three brothers could barely help ourselves , let alone each other. I no longer had a job, I couldn't pay the rent, my phone was cut-off and I was overdrawn.

When someone dies they cease to exist. But one can cease to exist without actually dying. In many respects I had ceased to exist.
It doesn’t take a spectacular event such as war or earthquake or flood to make it happen.
The only thing that maintained my existence was the concern of others—a few close friends and some sympathetic strangers with the wit to relate to my particular situation. Humanity and common cause prevailed over the rules and dogma that in general define our individual and collective lives and the nature and quality of our respective existence.
Though I ceased to "exist" for a while, I was not completely dead. Just because a person disappears, it doesn’t mean that they don’t still exist.


Fantod said...


What a harrowing experience! Please know that there were others who were worrying about you, too, though they may not have sent an email.

Please don't forget that you have lots of ranch friends in these parts, too.

It's good to hear from you!

ragingcoconut said...


I'm sorry to hear about your challenges of the past few months. I hope things are improving for you. We miss you at the Ranch!


Switch said...


She lives in you.

If her tail needs telling

The Ranch waits patiently...

For both of you.


Anonymous said...


I'm sorry about your mother and all that you've had to go through. I just wanted to let you know you are thought of often and missed. We're here if you need us.

Take care,


Carl said...

What a noble lady.

Her lineage shows in you, sir.

-- Actor212

Anonymous said...

I hope you remember me as we have chatted both at the ranch and on the AAR blog.

I'm so sorry to hear of all you have been through.

I agree with all who have posted here that you have been missed and I look forward to having you back.


Anonymous said...


Although you probably don't recognize my name, I remember you from the AF blog. Inexplicably, the other day I was wondering what happened to you.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and your ensuing troubles.

KEvron said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KEvron said...


to retain your profound sense of humor despite such dire events speaks volumes on the strength of your character. i commend the dear lady who raised you so. know that she continues to exist in your memories, and now, too, in ours.

very happy to see you return.


Cheryl said...

I am glad to see you are existing. I know firsthand now that the UK is tough. my heart goes out to you with the loss of your mother. please let us know if there's anything we can do to improve you or your brother's existence in any way. we are glad to see you.

(((big blog hug)))

Red Tory said...

Good to see you're back in business, so to speak. I'm terribly sorry to hear about your loss. My mother passed away a couple of years ago, so I can relate somewhat to your experience... it leaves a certain emptiness in your heart for a time.

(Nice Monty Python reference in the title, btw.)

Anonymous said...

Brit -

My deepest condolences on your loss and for what you have gone through. I lost both my parents three years ago and I also felt like the rug was pulled out from underneath me.

If there is anything I can do, please let me know.


Anonymous said...


I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Losing my mom was the hardest thing that's ever happened to me -- my thoughts are with you and your family.

It's good to hear you once again, however.


Anonymous said...


You were in my thoughts. I am so very glad you are back.
You were missed. As you know, when my mom passed away it was one of the hardest times of my life.
Even though in her case she was finally free, I still miss her dearly.
Anytime you need someone to talk to, I am here for you.