The Anonymous Widower

The Death Of My Son George

In some ways our youngest son; George, was more my baby, than my wife’s!

When you have three children under three, you have to devise a system so they can all be fed, watered and managed.

In the early 1970s, I was working at home, writing software for the likes of companies like Lloyds Bank, Plessey, Ferranti and others, usually by means of a dial-up line to a company called Time Sharing Ltd. in Great Portland Street.

  • So most days George sat on my desk in a plastic baby chair, as I worked.
  • C would look after the two elder children, generally taking them to the park or friends.
  • George was still in nappies, real not disposable. We did use a nappy service!
  • I sometimes wonder, if I can still install a proper nappy on a baby!
  • I would feed him as I worked.
  • George also used to come with me to visit clients, I had to meet at Great Portland Street. Usually, the secretaries would steal him away.

It was a system, that worked well for all of us.

Of our three children, George was the only one, that C thought could be coeliac, as I am. Mothers know their families! We once tried to test him with a self-test kit from the Internet. but the results were inconclusive.

I now believe he was coeliac for one genetic reason. His daughter was born with a severe congenital hernia of the diaphragm and research shows this can be linked to a coeliac father.

At least I was lucky with my three boys in this respect, but it points to George being coeliac.

George worked in the music business and was the sound engineer on some of the work of Diane Charlemagne. I met Diane once, when I stood on The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, which I wrote about in Fun and Games at the Fourth Plinth.

  • Diane was working as the security guard and it was an amazing coincidence, that we realised our connection through George.
  • She spoke highly of his work.

Sadly Diane died of kidney cancer in 2015.

George didn’t drink, but he smoked heavily and not just tobacco. He also lived on a very gluten-rich diet of Subways and the like.

I suspect that his immune system was as good as much protection as a chocolate colander in a tsunami!

I have discussed this with doctors, who specialise in cancer and they feel that it could have contributed to his death from pancreatic cancer.

  • George died at home.
  • He was not in much pain due to the morphine he was controlling through a pump and the cannabis he was smoking.
  • One day, he was in bed and talking to my then aristocratic girlfriend and myself, when he just expired.
  • There was no drama and he just went to sleep.

A few minutes later, my girlfriend and the housekeeper, laid out the body for the undertaker.

I had been at George’s quiet death, just like I had been at the birth of all three sons.

Looking Back

George died ten years ago and his death has left some marks on my mind.

  • Because of our early relationship, some of my grief for George was more like that of a mother.
  • George died a peaceful death, which with modern medicine should be almost a right for many!
  • His death has driven me to fund and take part in medical research, especially for pancreatic cancer.
  • I also feel strongly, we should steer clear of cannabis, eat sensibly and check as many as possible for coeliac disease.

But now above all, I have no fear of Covid-19 or death.

 

May 1, 2020 - Posted by | Computing, Health | , , , , , ,

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