|The Gray Family circa 1963- Andrew is on the far left|
My brother and I could not have been more different.
I wear my heart on my sleeve, have a rather indulgent way of what Chris calls "emotionally romping" my way through life's ups and downs and despite assurances to the contrary love a "bit of a fuss".
My brother, on the other hand was a private man, who kept his inner most feelings to himself. Unlike me he was not frivolous but, could , when he was well, share a frivolous story with the humour, timing and sharpness of Joan Rivers at her very best.
His preparation for death was a private matter. He shared a few requests with his much respected consultant who ensured ,with the unwavering tenacity and strength of his wife , Jayne, that they were carried out to the letter...and when the time came, Andrew died at home, without pain or distress and with his wife and son at his bedside.
I found a great deal of comfort in this fact.
I also found a great deal of comfort at being able to complete a few small personal duties before the Undertaker arrived. I gave Andrew a wash, and a shave and I brushed his hair, so he was all "neat and tidy"
It was something simple that his beloved gran would have done.....and it was of her that I was thinking of as I pottered away.
After I had finished , it was Jayne, his wife that realised what I had subconsciously done, as she laughed how much his hair resembled the "slicked over" style Andrew always had as a boy.