Rest in peace, my brother, John
I just couldn't get to sleep last night and ended up getting up around 4:00 a.m. and turning on my computer. I was feeling very worried about my brother in Birmingham, England, as no one had received a Christmas card from him or an e-mail for about a month. My oldest daughter hadn't been able to contact him by phone over Christmas, either. So, I decided to e-mail two wonderful, long-time girlfiends who live in Birmingham, to see if they had heard from John, which they hadn't. I went back to bed, sure I wouldn't fall asleep, which I didn't. About 7:30 a.m., I had a dreaded phone call, from a very kind Policewoman in Birmingham, letting me know that my brother (aged 61) had died, at home. He lived alone. She had not been given any details yet, so I have to wait to hear more. I don't know who called the Police, but I am thankful that they did. The Policewoman didn't know when John had died (from Angina, I suspect), but I think it may have been just after his last e-mail to me, on November 26th. John led such a healthy life-style, eating very healthily and enjoying his walks, but genes sometimes just win!
I have no idea how I will deal with all this - that is one problem when family members live across the world from each other. I haven't flown anywhere since 1978 and haven't been anywhere in all that time, so, at the moment, this feels like one unbearable nightmare to me. John was my only sibling and neither of my parents is alive. Also, my own health is at its lowest in many years, so the awful possibility of having to travel fills me with dread. As with everything, though, one seems to eventually get through these very tough times. I will probably keep posting on Flickr, as this always feels a comforting place to be, and it will perhaps take my mind off everything else for a little bit at a time. Please bear with me if I don't do as much commenting as I would like.