A member of the audience rang me up to share this story.
How do you cope with a death when in the process you also discover that your parent has lied to you for much of your life?
My relationship with both my parents was complicated. I was not close to my mother and so I was not able to get any support from her when I began to be concerned about my father’s behaviour. I liked being with my Dad. We enjoyed watching films together. We got on famously. And I found out on the day he died that he had lied to me about some very important things. I had begun to have my doubts about some of the things he promised me. I found out the worst when I had access to his phone and hacked into his email account. Emails he told me he had sent to other people had in fact never been sent, people he told me he knew he clearly didn’t and some mails that I had received ostensibly from other people had actually been sent by him to me disguising himself as a medical expert. He had even provided me with medication and diet sheets and promised help from famous agents to support my theatrical career. He even attended imaginary funerals to explain why someone could not help me. He would say “I love you. You must trust me. I would never lie to you.” So, on his deathbed, I was asking him “Tell me if all of this has been lies.” After this huge shock I found myself organising the funeral all on my own. It has been hard to get support from my GP or others and I find it very hard to process my grief and confusion. A friend of mine died on the same day and not long after another friend committed suicide. It is totally overwhelming at times and friends find it hard to cope. My normal is very sad and I represent some of the worst things that can happen to anyone and people want to avoid that. In our society we don’t put enough funding into the networks that can offer real support. The hospice nurses were brilliant but other carers have just clocked in and clocked off. They haven’t got the time.