Tuesday, January 01, 2008

journeys with my brother

Hello, I am Hugh's sister, Catherine (he also has 2 brothers) and he has given me permission to post updates on his blog and he also wants to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and support - it is very sustaining for him to imagine that other people are taking the time and energy to think of him at a period of his life which is filled with such uncertainty. I'll just keep this note brief. Hugh has an appointment with his oncologist on Friday 4th and this conversation and assessment will give us all some idea as to whether some palliative treatment is potentially available. I very much try to stay with the day-to-day of enjoying Hugh's company, and that of his delightful wife and exuberant daughter. I have worked as an oncology nurse which is both a help and a hindrance - in terms of getting caught up in imaginings of what might be ahead. We've managed to have a memorable Christmas and New Year - it amazes me that, with all that has ravaged Hugh's brain, he is nevertheless incredibly lucid, articulate and breathtakingly brave in facing what he has called 'the descent towards the River Styx.' He gave his own funeral speech at Christmas dinner in his own inimitable style. His words will, I hope, stay with me forever. There is so much to celebrate about a man who has lived his dreams and so little reason to believe that an early departure from the body is warranted. I want to assure you all that Hugh has a circle of support here and that we will companion him as closely as we can. Fortunately he is in no pain and loves to eat, can still watch DVDs with his very minimal eyesight and between dozing can enjoy friendship. Please keep in touch if you wish too - he enjoys your messages which we make sure reach him. With thanks, Catherine


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad there's communication.

I think Hugh has been remarkably heroic with this blog, and I really hope that imminent death is not certain.

He's also one of my favourite authors because of both his honesty in tragedy -- life is largely inexplicable, apart from the dull bits, and bad things happen to good people -- what counts is how we deal with it.

I hope you'll keep us informed of his progress. There might not be anything that we can do, but it matters to us.

12:57 AM  
Blogger sal said...

Hugh is, and always will be my hero, he's a top geezer and I've got infinite respect for him.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Arafat said...

I just wanted to say my deepest respects for Hugh. He is an inspiration to us all and has provided me with countless days of laughter, joy and entertainment through his work.
I will pray for him.
My all time favourite author.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Best wishes for Hugh and family in the New Year.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I have a lot of love for Hugh despite not knowing him beyond his written words. As odd as it sounds his novel "The Walrus and the Warwolf" in many ways helped to shape the person that I am today.

--Your work touched my life Hugh, and in a wonderful unique way. You will always have my eternal gratitude and respect for that--

Nick, Auckland, NZ


9:56 PM  

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