Monday, March 3 – Life and death
We were all in a sombre mood this morning after yesterday’s dreadful news. Rev. James is organising a funeral with the help of the local carpenter, who now makes coffins, and a former roadworker who now digs graves. The doctor will give his opinion on the cause of death and issue a certificate.
A notice signed by Rev. James and David Henderson, Chairman of the Parish Council, will be posted at the deceased couple’s house, notifying any relatives who may call there at some point in the future, of the actions that had to be taken. Two other members of the parish council, who both happen to be lawyers, are checking through their personal papers to identify next of kin if possible, but it appears they did not have any family in the immediate area. If this information can be found, along with any other important financial papers, they will be stored safely in the hope that the appropriate steps can be taken in the future.
I spoke to Neil today and said how sorry I was that he had to be the one to make this distressing discovery. He simply said he was glad he hadn’t gone there in the height of summer. He thought the wife might have been dead for some time. She was upstairs in bed but her husband appeared to have collapsed in the kitchen on the floor. Maybe it was the flu from a few weeks ago, or perhaps it was just malnourishment.
This afternoon was a little more cheerful, as Anna and I walked to the school to see if we could find any useful clothes or equipment for the baby. We were only able to get a smock top for Anna herself, but the mothers helping there know now what we’ll need and will pass the word on to others.
The sunshine over the weekend has promoted the hens’ productivity. They all laid well today and I collected six eggs, three brown and three blue.