Story 1 – Tackas – Part 5


The boys were sitting around at Paddy’s and were waiting for the phone call from the hospital. They knew it was coming and they knew it would mean they would all be on the move.

There had not been a lot of talking that night. Dinner was a feed of fish and chips eaten mostly in silence.

I thought it was odd not hearing Tackas going on as he would about anything that crossed his mind. But this evening he was unusually silent.

Neither brother drank anything other than a few coffees. It was not the time to be drinking.

At 9.12 the phone rang. Paddy answered it. Replaced the receiver. Looked at Tackas and nodded.

In the car not a word was spoken. I thought they are probably thinking of what lay before them. Tackas I knew would be a jumble of thoughts, that’s what he was like when he was stressed and I couldn’t think of anything more stressful than this night.

At the hospital the boys went into Mary’s room and I waited outside.

I sat in the corridor watching the goings on within the hospital my thoughts on Tackas and how he was going.

‘Clancy,’ called Tackas.

When I got up I had the thought I was going to intrude on a very family moment and I was not family.

I hesitated a minute unsure but Tackas softly said to me, ‘It’s me mam Clancy, she’d expect you to see her now. It’s ok I’ll be with you.’ He took my arm and led me into the ward.

In the bed lay the serene body of Mary Tackan.

She looked to be sleeping.

She had waited for her two boys to arrive before she breathed her last.

Paddy and Tackas had sat either side of their mother, and held her hands as she looked from one to the other, nodded to each, closed her eyes and faded away.

Tackas said later he couldn’t believe it was so peaceful. It was he said like she was ok about leaving that she’d struggled long enough and even though he was sad beyond words he was pleased she was now pain free and in a better place.

I hung around with the boys as they sat with their mother. Arrangements had been made long before with the Funeral Director and what church and so forth.

I left them with her and went out and sat in the corridor. It was now a time for the boys to spend with their mother. The nursing staff I thought were wonderful, they told the boys to stay as long as was needed, that basically Mary wasn’t going anywhere in the immediate future at any rate. It was true I thought to myself as I sat there that the Irish do have a lovely way of saying things and often in a beautifully understated way.

Tackas and Paddy came out again not saying much but in the car they began making notes about who they had to ring when they arrived home and who would ring what relative.

Tomorrow the Funeral Director would call and set up a meeting to discuss the funeral.

When we reached Paddy’s the boys began the required phone calling to Aunty this and Uncle that.

I went and found them drinks, as now they could have a drink and we all needed one.

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21 Responses to Story 1 – Tackas – Part 5

  1. Bastet says:

    Ah…what a great read first thing in the morning. It’s so sad when a parent passes, you’ve handled this in such a beautiful way, one can feel the serentiy of a life well lived and welcome the well-earned rest. Thanks Michael for a lovely story.

    • Thanks Georgia this was a difficult part to write and I did ponder over it for some time. I am happy that you have enjoyed it.

      • Bastet says:

        Writing of death is never an easy write, we have to go into our memory and refeel the feeling to write it well…or at least, I do. The story was very convincing and moving. Thank you Micheal for writing it.

  2. So tender, moving, and sad you’ve demonstrated extraordinary finesse handling such a delicate topic

  3. I shall agree with all the other comments – you have kept us all interested in the family from the onset and we have travelled the road with Tackas..this was lovely and yes emotional not only for you to write but for us to read – thank you my friend.

  4. RoSy says:

    Beautifully sad story.
    I feel the characters & feel the emotions.
    You did a wonderful job with this story.

  5. This s so moving…t reminds me of when my mother died…that sense of finality at the hospital but also, below the grief, the sense of someone now freed from pain…beautifully written Michael!! 🙂 🙂

  6. Oh come on, Sir ST2, even AnElephant doesn’t bump off old ladies and he is pretty free with the old bucket kicking on his blog!
    Great piece of writing once again, my friend.

    • Thank you, I do so appreciate you commenting and the story continues soon. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The above was hard to write as is the next part, but it is all part of the process and I appreciate you coming on the journey with me. Go Aussie go.

  7. We feel as much for Clancy today as we feel for Tackas. He’s in a terribly awkward, uncomfortable, painful position. So well written, Michael. 🙂

  8. Thanks for finally writing about >Story 1 – Tackas – Part 5 |
    Morpethroad <Loved it!

  9. Pingback: Story 1 – Tackas – Part 7 | Morpethroad

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