I did say I wasn't upset to learn that Dad had died. Well, I was proved wrong today.
I decided this morning that I did want to put a notice in the paper - with no funeral, and not even a notice from Olive in today's paper I didn't want Dad to just 'disappear' - I felt there had to be some acknowledgement that he had passed. So I rang the Herald-Sun to place a bereavement notice. But as there hadn't been a notice from "the main family" my notice would be kept on hold until the funeral director notified of a 'family' notice. I suddenly found myself in tears - he was denying me the right to mark my father's death unless Olive did, and I was pretty sure she wasn't going to. I tried to explain the circumstances, and that I was not on speaking terms with my step-mother. He did go to speak to a supervisor to see if there was anything they could do, but no, rules were rules. I had to at least be able to let them know who the undertaker was, so they could ring to confirm.
I rang John, who by this time was in Cowra on his way to Queensland, to find out which hospital Dad died in - turned out he died at the nursing home where he lived, not on the way to hospital as I'd thought.
So then I rang Willowood Retirement Village to ask the name of the doctor who certified the death - but they wouldn't tell me as they didn't have my name as next of kin! Did I want to speak to Olive? - no I didn't! So I spoke to the manager - same story. However, she did eventually tell me the name of the funeral director.
Rang Whitelady Funerals in Mornington as that seemed the most likely, and they were indeed making the arrangements. I spoke to a lady called Anna who was wonderful - as Bill said, she was a bit of a pscychologist, because she talked me through a lot of my feelings and said it was clear to see I had 'unresolved issues' and suggested some things I could consider doing - such as lighting a candle for Dad, and perhaps writing him a letter explaining how I feel and using the candle to burn the letter. I asked if it was at all possible for them to play "Abide With Me" at some time during the cremation, but of course they can't. Dad had told me when I was a child that he wanted "Abide With Me" at his funeral. Anna is going to ring me to let me know exactly when the cremation will be, and I will have my own quiet devotions at home on that day. And at least I was able to give Anna some correct details for the death certificate.
I was then able to ring the Herald-Sun and inform them of the undertaker, and my notice will be in the paper tomorrow. And if there is anyone else who wants to put a notice in the paper they won't have to go through the same nonsense I had to go through.
I am sad that I didn't have a better relationsip with Dad, and sad that unlike John who apparently reconciled with Dad a little while ago, I hadn't been in touch with him in recent months. I can't do anything about that now, and I am not going to beat myself around the head about it, but I will remember him in my own way, and I have ensured that his passing doesn't go unrecorded.