Thursday 28 July 2011


My uncle passed away two days ago. He brought away 82 years with him. He never came back from his coma. The whole family was there near him. There had been a game of wrong information passed via emails. My brother wrote a week ago that our uncle had died. I sent my condolances to my cousin who promptly replied that his father was still alive - though not much life left to live; a week at most. My brother realised his mistake too late and wrote back to me, explaining that it was another cousin from Switzerland who told him. 
We had hoped that another hospital may be able to save him. One of the surgeons knows our family and has quite a good reputation. Unfortunately, there wasn't much the man could do.
I don't know what really happened, only roughly that he was ran over by a car. Was it a hit-and-run case? Did the people show some sense of responsibility and helped?
I know my aunt and my cousins were much to overwhelmed to even think about the circumstances.
That reminds me of another cousin who died at the age of 26 in a car accident. He had to drive a relative to the airport early in the morning. On his way back, his extreme exhaustion and sleepiness caused him to lose control of his engine. I don't know what really happened, whether the car crashed against a tree or against another car. He was brought to the hospital, deeply wounded. He could have survived had the nurse not estimated that more than three days of antibiotic were unnecessary. He got a severe infection due to that misjudgement and died of it. Only 26, he was.
His parents were much too devastated to even sue the hospital for incompetence. A small funeral was held at a cemetary in the Southern Parisian surburb. Family and close relatives attended. We sang some of his favourite songs, one of them being Eternal Flame, which is now forever connected to him.
My father later said it was very moving, and that it didn't feel at all like a funeral, more like a group of friends saying a goodbye when one of theirs goes on a trip.  
There are good doctors indeed. The task is to spot them among all the bad ones.

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