As a loyal reader of my blogs, you undoubtedly read my article about hospitality and service in healthcare, with my father as a patient in the lead. Thanks again for the many wonderful comments. If you missed this article, then please read it back here.
Attention is one of the great pillars that lets you experience how precious a person was and how wonderful it is to be surrounded with people who you cherish and love.
Comfort and warm words
A week ago my father suddenly passed away, surrounded by his loved ones and with his favourite music playing softly in the background. My first time experience with dead of one of my parents. Properly strange to say, but that’s how it felt to me. I feel sad and I felt clumsy. Because immediately after the death of my father practical issues had to be settled. Who to call first? Homecare? The medical examiner? The funeral parlour? The people of homecare came first; an experienced nurse together with a trainee. Both had took cared for my father and kept an eye on my mother. Warm words were spoken. They called a doctor.
The medical examiner was an other story. A Dutch citizen of foreign origin. We had to listen very carefully to what he was saying, because his Dutch was not very good. He spoke with a loud voice and talked in a staccato manner, maybe to make himself more clear. My mother became confused. After my father’s death was established, the doctor completed the necessary paperwork together with us.
Final and confrontational
Some time later, two people of the funeral parlour came, a man and a woman. They gave us their condolences and went immediately to my father and spoke to him in a soft tone. “We’re going to take you with us Mr. Bosma”. “I think Mr. Bosma find it more comfortable to have a pillow under his head.” Through the words they said to my father indirectly they explained to us what steps they took. That made us calm and gave us confidence. We realized that they would take father with them and that he would not return to his house anymore. That’s confrontational. A beautiful embroidered robe was laid over my fathers’ body. “We’ll cover you properly Mr. Bosma, it’s cold outside.” Every step was accomplished with attention. Outside it was cold and dark. The funeral car was parked in front of my parent’s house, where my father was placed into with care. A respectful bow was made at the rear of the car.
The funeral was impressive. As a former Marine, my father was escorted by a guard of honour of the Marine Corps of the Royal Dutch Navy. Mars music was interspersed with the music my father brought with him years ago from ‘the West’ and what he played a lot at home. Especially when former colleagues came to visit. My father was stationed several years at the Marine Barracks Suffisant in Curacao. Many speakers brought the multifaceted nature and characteristics of my father alive.
How sad the loss of a loved one can be; attention is one of the great pillars that lets you experience how precious a person was and how wonderful it is to be surrounded with people who you cherish and love.
With warm regards,