Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Deaths, Anniversaries and Birthdays

It's been a week of deaths.  Three elderly people have died in the village in the past 5 days.  

Mr A was due home on Saturday as we hoped to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary.   However, he was sitting chatting to a friend in Kusadasi on Thursday evening, and on Friday the man died of a heart attack.  As is normal here, the funeral takes place the following day, which was Saturday, so Mr A didn't arrive home until late evening.

He did however bring me two huge cartons of my favourite icecream and 12 bars of Milka chocolate.  It's not Cadburys of course but it's the next best thing here.  I suspect that whilst I am trying to shed extra kilos, he is trying to fatten me up!

As Mr A wasn't due back in Kusadasi until Monday, we decided to go over to Bodrum on Sunday to see Gwen and Suleyman, and around 10am were just about to leave when he received a call from his father in Ankara, to say that Mr A's grandmother had been taken into hospital and was dying.  She has been very ill for some time, but amazingly seems to rally round and keep going. 

Mr A has always been close to her and refers to her as his mother, because she brought him up from an early age after his mother left.  He hasn't seen her for a while and because his father was pretty sure the end was near, Mr A decided to drive up to Ankara.  It's a long journey...about 9 or 10 hours..and he was hoping that he would get there in time to say his goodbyes.

Sadly, when he was a few hours away from Ankara, he received a call to say that she had died. 

All the family had gathered in Ankara and the funeral took place yesterday. 

I'm very sad for Mr A.  He asked me to phone his father to express my sympathy.  This was very hard for me to do, and I really didn't want to.  After the way he has treated me, I felt like a hypocrite having to be nice to him.   However, I did it because it was the right thing to do for Mr A.  The conversation lasted no more than about 5 seconds.  I just said I was sorry for his loss and to pass on my sympathy to the family.  He said "thanks..how are you".  I said "I'm fine thanks".  He then said "See you" and hung up.  Duty done.

I'm glad I'm not in Ankara.  I find it really difficult to deal with all the weeping and wailing that goes on for days when someone here dies.  I hope I don't sound heartless when I say that I can't understand why there is so much weeping for an old lady who died at 95 years old.  She had a good life and her family should be happy that she did.

The one certainty in life is that we are all going to die.  I save my tears for those who die too young.

And to change the subject...and on a much lighter note...I'm off to England tomorrow to spend 12 days with my daughter and grandsons.  While I'm there it will be Billy's 3rd birthday and Jimi's 1st.  We have a joint party to arrange for the boys, and my daughter is also roping me into some decorating.  It's going to be a busy time..but a very enjoyable one.

Mr A is still in Ankara and due to drive back this evening, in time to take me to the airport in the morning and to drop the dogs off at my other friend Gwen's house in Selçuk, before heading back to Kusadasi until the end of the month.

It's blowing a gale here today, and more rain is forecast for tomorrow.  I sincerely hope the wind drops before my flights take off tomorrow or it will be a bumpy ride.

22 comments:

  1. I am sorry for the losses you and Mr A have experienced Ayak, but I am with you on the grief front. It is sad that those of us left will no longer see those who have died, but having lived a long and happy life and dying in your nineties sounds like a reason to celebrate someone's life and be happy that they had such a good "innings".
    Have a wonderful time in England.... I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your family. ...and maybe the weather will be better when you get back to Turkey !

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    1. Thanks Janice. I was starting to think that perhaps I was being insensitive. But it's true..she did have a good innings.

      I'm so looking forward to seeing my family. Billy has just phoned me to ask if I've packed my pyjamas!

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  2. Phew - long drive to Ankara.
    I'm always grateful for the stock Turkish phrases for illness and death scenarios - I find it difficult enough in English to express my sympathy. (Now who sounds insensitive!)
    Have a good trip to UK and get stuck into the chocolate.

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    1. It is a long drive BtoB. It's nearly 8pm and he hasn't left yet. I hate him driving through the night and am anxious about whether he'll get here in time to take me to the airport in the morning. Anxiety equals chocolate..off for another bar!

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  3. Have a great time with in UK. I haven't been feeling particularly brilliant last couple of days so havent been around to wish you a good time xx

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    1. Thanks Bomb. Sorry you haven't been well. Hope you feel better soon. I'll text you when I get to England. Take care xxx

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  4. I feel the same way about dealth as you do! 95 is amazing. Why cry? Have a fantastic time in England.

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  5. Really sorry to hear of your family's loss. I think one of the hardest things to understand about another culture is the way they handle death.

    I hope you have a pleasant journey and enjoy the time with your daughter and grandchildren.

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    1. Hi omentide. Yes it^s a very big cultural difference here and one I find difficult to get used to.

      Thanks for your good wishes x

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  6. Have a good trip....and a very enjoyable time with your Family.
    I've also had my share of Funerals I had to attend here....
    Take care, don't forget to stock up on some goodies to bring back. XXXX

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    1. Thanks Erica.I'll be stocking up if I manage to find the time!

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  7. I'm sorry for Mr. A...his grandmother sounds as if she was a real support for him - unlike the hideous FIL.
    He'll be exhausted by the time he gets home and gets you to the airport, poor chap.

    Enjoy yourself in the U.K. - though how you'll find time to breathe with that schedule of parties and decorating I don't know!

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    1. Fly...he didn't actually get back in time to take me to the aisport. I had already had a sleepless night so my stress levels were raised. I got to the airport OK. It's not been an easy couple of days..more of that later when I find time to blog xx

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  8. So sorry for Mr a's loses, Ayak, but I'm with you and others on the need to celebrate a long and happy life rather than mourn too much. I'm too late to wish you a good journey, so I'll wish you a happy arrival instead. :-)

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    1. Thankyou Perpetua. She had a long and happy life and was very loved..it's all any of us could hope for.

      Arrived safely...eventually!

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  9. Enjoy your family time back home! My grandmother, who's been ill for sometime, will turn 100 in August. That's a long journey in life! I'm one who would rather remember and celebrate the good memories of a loved one than weep over their death.

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    1. Thankyou Joy. 100 years is a very long life. Yes I agree with you..there's much to celebrate rather than weeping.

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  10. Hi....I'm always in a hurry forget to say Mr. A and you have my condolences on the passing of his Grandmother.

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  11. I am sorry to read about the deaths & offer my condolences to Mr A.

    How wonderful to see that you are already in England. Have a wonderful time with those grandsons.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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    1. Thankyou Maggie..I'm having a lovely time xx

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