I have experienced five deaths. The first was my mother. It was a very cold winter’s night in early August (about 2 a.m) when my mother with whom I had lived after my father had died about five years before called out “Kevin! Kevin!.” Evidently having a heart attack.
I called the ambulance (with whom I’d had a close relationship because of the newspaper). and Allan Maker and I loaded mum into the ambulance. I remember the little thin cotton blanket which must have been cold comfort for Mum on such a night. Anyway I followed the ambulance to the hospital and Matron Pilkington was none too pleased at being called out in the middle of the night to unlock the drugs cabinet. I will never forget the huge syringe filled with a pain killing drug (probably morphine).
Anyway she plunged this giant needle into mum’s chest and we took her to a bed ln the female ward. Not long after mum called out and I said ” I’m here mum”.
Her last words were “Ï love Kevin”.
I realised she had gone as the resuscitator which had been helping her to breath stopped working emitting a continuous hissing sound.
I kissed her on the cheek and said “Bye Bye Mum “.
Then there was this chilling experience: I turned and almost said “What are you doing here ?”.
I felt Dad’s presence there. I will always believe he had come for Mum.
I related details of this experience to my sister Marie while we were having lunch at a restaurant in Kingcumber where she lived during a visit there with my grandson Grant.
Her response was “You’re a liar. They didn’t have resuscitators in those days.” Grant will probably remember the incident. Marie’s son Michael later apologised at her funeral for the outburst.
The second near death experience was when my wife’s mother Linda (In Portuguese beautiful) Brassil was near death. Mrs Brassil (my mother -in- law) and I got on very well and we liked each other a lot. I loved her. She was a wonderful person who had raised three boys and five girls -in the latter years on her own after her husband, Joe, died. She loved our twin boys.
I remember her saying as I was leaving the Randwick Hospice to go home to Canowindra (I had to get the paper out the next day) she said: ‘Oh I wish I could go over the Great Divide tonight”
I kissed her on the cheek in what was to be our last goodbye and said “For you:The best is yet to come”. She smiled and that was the last time I saw her.
Her wish was granted as she died that night.
I remember her jokingly saying about babies “Easy to put in; hard to get out!” .
Then there was the time I was visiting an old friend Doug Newton in Canowindra hospital. Doug was our Canowindra Star accountant who did all our tax returns etc. As I left to go he gripped my arm in a vice-like grip and said “Please don’t go”
I said: “I must” as I reluctantly broke his grip. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. He died that night
When I was in Canowindra I used to visit one of the Rue Girls now in her 90s blind and deaf. In her heyday Jessie Rue was an avid follower of politics reading everything she could and listening via her radio to Parliament and the news etc. I was very saddened to see her deprived of these things. Old age can be very cruel. The Rue “Girls” (Mary Jess and Mag) used to take Mum and I to Sunday Mass in Canowindra for many years. They were very loyal friends. I was sorry to hear of her death.
I was at home one evening when I took an unexpected call from an old friend Terry Brown then living with his daughter at The Entrance. Terry used to be the Secretary Manager of the club (Canowindra Services and Citizens) of which I was president for almost 10 years. Terry and I got on very well and we liked each other. He kept in touch after leaving to take up the Secretary Manager of a much larger club, Hornsby RSL. Our club had prospered during his term and we were very sorry to see him go. Anyway after discussing the news he said he had rung to tell me I was the whitest man he had ever met. He died several days later from emphysema.