This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

A Single Life | Unanswered Questions

Ok, this is not directly related to my new status as a single person but the reason for that new status - Trev’s death of course - has thrown up some questions that I find myself asking at various times.

Firstly though, not ‘why did he die?’ The coroners report made that clear. Secondly they are not questions that I find upsetting or that keep me from returning to the land of nod after the inevitable nocturnal visit - there’s plenty of largely inconsequential things vying for that honour. Thirdly, I’ll never have the answers to them - not definitive ones anyway. But that doesn’t stop me pondering.

The first one to crop up is this - was Trev in any pain or discomfort in the days, weeks and months prior to his death? If the answer is no, the questions stop there but given the very state of his heart and arteries as reported by the coroner, as a layman I find that a tad hard to believe. Of course this may be a prime example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing and he may well have been totally pain free. We all know now that heart problems don’t always manifest themselves as a pain in the chest or left arm as once thought.

So, if he was in some discomfort or pain, my next question is - why didn’t he say something, or more importantly do something? And this one is key because an intervention may well have extended his life further. Or may not, again who knows?

It may be that he had been suffering but simply put it down to old age and being - let’s be honest - overweight and not particularly fit. Symptoms such as tiredness and joint pain would not have been unexpected, but where they an indicator or a more serious problem? Again, who knows?

Branching off again perhaps he did know his ticker was playing up and again I ask myself why he didn’t do something, given his obvious zest for life  - never more apparent than in the years after Papworth Hospital saved his life in 2003.

This throws up a number of answers - in my head anyway - some more palatable than others.

One that is perhaps the hardest to accept is that he believed his time was up. Even I know that 14 years with out intervention after such major surgery is pretty good going, so it seems the tablets were doing their job. It may have been in the back of his mind too that his own father died at 64 - the same age - as did his elder brother Malcolm, while his eldest sister only made 62. I think this played on his mind somewhat as when he was discussing getting his pension he often used to say ‘If I make it that far’. I assumed he was joking. This I think is the least likely scenario given, as I mentioned above, his enthusiasm for life but it is a possibility - in the large open spaces in my skull anyway.

Perhaps he didn’t want to risk going through any more surgery. He’d said a number of times what a great life he’d had and that if he went tomorrow he’d have no regrets. Maybe the possibility of a less active and maybe fulfilling life was not one he relished and preferred to continue as per for as long as he could?

It may be that he recognised any discomfort as symptoms of something serious but was putting off doing anything about it. Maybe he’d planned to go to the GP at the end of our trip, not wanting to disrupt what was a wonderful time. Caravanning, sun, grog, grub and some serious chinwagging. He was in his element it has to be said and it was turning out to be one of our best summer trips ever. He perhaps just didn’t want it to stop. But stop it did, quite tragically on August the 1st.

So, unanswered questions. As I said , they don’t keep me awake, neither do I get upset when pondering them as knowing the answers will not bring him back but I guess it’s inevitable that we want to look for answers - and it’s probably good that we do.

Generally though things are going ok. Practically I feel I’ve adapted pretty well. The house is clean, the washing is up to date, I’m keeping myself fed with something other than ready meals and takeaways.

Sleep is still an issue - whilst I’ve been dropping off ok, its returning to sleep in the early hours that’s been a problem. Although saying that I did manage seven hours unbroken one night this week so maybe things are looking up.

It’s the memorial service at the school tomorrow which I’m both looking forward to and slightly nervous about. More on how that went next time. Then the day after I’m heading to Colchester for the Christening on Sunday. It will be good to catch up with the family again under happier circumstances.

Right, thanks as ever for your comments on last weeks blog post. I do really appreciate them.

Until next time,

Cheers & Beers



  1. Very open and honest thought process Rich, and it looks like you have come to the right conclusion. The line about being the best summer holiday said it all for me. You were both happy. I know its hard but you are doing very well.

  2. Thoughtful, the what if's and maybe's that plague us all. I found that when acceptance comes, the power they have diminishes greatly, even if that power is not great to start with.

  3. The what Ifs can plague us till our minds twist themselves us up in knotts. But sometimes it is best to know we loved them and they loved us and we were lucky to have them in our lives.

  4. It's very cathartic to write all these things down as you have done Rich. It unravels the 'spaghetti' in our minds and puts it in some kind of order. Try to focus on the energy of Trev. He had this in abundance and that can never die. The reason energy doesn't die is because of love and that surrounds YOU in abundance too. I know the miss is great but know he is still around in more ways than one. Take care my friend xx