Thursday, 14 May 2009

Neighbour Update

Regular readers will remember we found out in April that our next-door neighbour Bob was dying of cancer. A week or so ago, the comings and goings next door increased dramatically, and my Paramour and I reckoned Bob's end was nigh.

Yesterday afternoon there was a knock on the front door. This is most unusual - all our friends use the back door, so I was expecting a salesperson, local politician or Jehovah's Witness. I found a young man I didn't recognise, with lank black hair and snaggle teeth.

'I'm Simon, from next door,' he said.

Uh-oh, I thought, as I greeted him politely.

'My dad died this afternoon.'

Isn't it odd how, even when it's expected, it's still a shock? Simon was pale and looked as if he needed a hug and a cup of hot sweet tea. We chatted briefly - I expressed condolences and thanked him for letting us know, and we shared our concern about how Pam will manage. Simon told me he now lives in a city 40 miles from here, but his brother and sister still live in our town (I knew Pam and Bob had at least one son, possibly two, but had no idea they had a daughter). I asked Simon to let us know when Bob's funeral will be held.

After Simon left, it occurred to me that they might want family only at the funeral. Pam has some rather famous relatives, who don't seem to have much to do with her. Bob and Pam hardly ever have visitors, and I don't often hear their phone ring. The Famous Relatives don't live round here, but there have been Sightings in the local supermarket in recent days. If the time and date of the funeral is made public, I suspect some people might go along to gawp at Famous Relatives. Which is a bit rubbish, as even famous people have feelings, and are I think entitled to privacy at such times. Although it did make me laugh when Katie 'Jordan' Price and Peter Andre asked for privacy. But Pam's relatives are famous for doing difficult things well, not for surgical enhancements and appearing on 'reality TV' (an oxymoron if ever I heard one). (I'm not giving names of Famous Relatives here, for obvious reasons. If your curiosity gets the better of you, drop me an email.)

Anyway, I've taken a card and a bunch of flowers round to Pam. I didn't see her - all the curtains were closed, but the dog barked when I pushed the card through the letterbox, and the flowers disappeared from the doorstep fairly fast, so I reckon she was in - drowning her sorrows, maybe? I wrote in the card, again, that we're only next door and she's welcome to call on us if she needs company or practical help. I suspect I'd be providing the former, and my Paramour the latter, as those are, essentially, our skillsets. But I doubt Pam will call on us. I may be wrong, but I suspect she will move away fairly soon. I had heard, through a mutual acquaintance, that she was trying to interest Bob in moving to a bungalow last year, because the house had become too big for them to manage. To be honest, I won't be sorry if she goes. But I do wish she could find some happiness.


Carol and Chris said...

Awwww, that is sad!! As one who has very recently gone through are right...even when it's expected it's still a shock!!

I'm sure it will be a comfort to Pam to have lovely neighbours who are willing to help....makes a big difference just knowing that there are people close that you can turn to!!

C x

Ps. Yes, I must admit to having a giggle about the 'can we have privacy please' statement from Katie and Peter too. I have a horrible feeling that we will end up with every single detail of their split reported everywhere!!

JJ Beattie said...

Oh Queenie, how sad. The poor woman, but you are lovely and kind.

Lane said...

That is sad. She may not call on your help but I'm sure it's comforting for her to know you're there. I hope the bottle isn't her only comfort.

The Katie/peter request was priceless:-)

Queenie said...

I hope you're all right that our offers give Pam some comfort, even if she doesn't take them up. But I have a horrible feeling that Lane has hit the nail on the head and that the bottle is her only comfort (and has been so for many years now).

HelenMHunt said...

Poor woman she must be having an absolutely horrendous time. But at least she does know you are there and you have offered to help.

Shane said...

It's all a bit rough. Sad at Pam's loss, sad at the husband's loss - sad at the bottle, sad at and for the offspring, sad sad sad sad sad sad sad. There's a lot of sadness and I wish it were a much more rare shape of things than I suspect is often the case... out there.
I'd predict a 2009 board up outside of next door, too. For reasons of coping and general turns for the better, I hope so.

PI said...

Let's hope the children do what children should do in these circumstances and rally round and maybe Pam will too.
Ashamed to say am agog at who FRs are but feel I have showered you with emails so will contain my curiosity.