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Farewell Alan

Christopher’s sister, Sophie, phoned last night to tell me that their father (and hence my father-in-law) Alan had died on Sunday. He’d been increasingly infirm for a number of years now, but mostly affecting his mobility and quality of life rather than anything terminal. However, Sophie believes that he went into a decline dating from Christopher’s death last year, and just gave up fighting. That sort of makes sense as I know he was deeply affected by Christopher’s illness.

Alan went into hospital while I was away on holiday, and had a heart attack which he didn’t recover from. But the thing that gave me quite a nasty shock is that a major contributory factor towards his death was oesophageal cancer – which of course is what Chris died of. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know whether that was sheer coincidence (and Alan did use to smoke years ago, which is a known risk factor) or whether there is a hereditary component involved. But nasty, either way. Oesophageal cancer is not a pleasant way to go. Apparently Alan lost three stone in weight over the last few months, and he was pretty skinny to start with.

He was a somewhat distant father, and a very distant father-in-law, but he was a link with Chris and it’s sad he’s gone.