Travels with My Father by Karen Jennings

32468333.jpg– The process is slow. We move forward in instalments. –

– [The nurse] tells me that the tidying of the body is her favourite part of the job. ‘I get to be creative,’ she says. ‘The rest of the time it’s just work work work, but when someone dies I can make them look nice again. . . It’s a gift that I get to give to the people who are left behind. –

– An ability to reason carefully had warned me that to succeed in dying I had to appear well. –

– Memories, shameful, in which each of us, parent and child, is a person unrecognisable with distance. Yet it is a person that we feel responsible for nonetheless, and it is their guilt that we carry with us like a scar from a forgotten injury. –

– There is nothing beautiful about death, about waiting for someone to die. It is frightening, ugly, boring. There are smells and sounds. Uncomfortable chairs. –

http://www.hollandparkpress.co.uk/book_detail.php?book_id=52

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