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I was woken up at 1am after having just about managed to drop off. I ignored my mobile.

Then the landline rang. This is not normal, not at one in the morning.

I lay in bed thinking that my father must have had a relapse. No, my mother wouldn’t phone during the night. Shit, he must be dead. Better go and pick up the message.

Well, thankfully he wasn’t (he’s doing well, thanks for asking). The police left a message saying please could I get in touch urgently. What? I thought this must be a hoax call and went back upstairs.

I thought to check why my mobile was making noises and I had two missed calls. On checking the voicemail the same voice said please could they call as my son was concerned about my welfare.

This confused me. I’m so glad my son, whichever one, is concerned about my welfare, but couldn’t he be concerned in the morning? I got into bed, lay down and closed my eyes. Almost instantly I thought no, I can’t just leave this.

I sat up, picked my my phone and dialled 101, the non-emergency police. I quoted the reference I’d been given at them and they asked how they could help.

“I don’t know. You rang me!”

They brought me up on screen. We’ve had an odd phone call about you. We’re not quite sure what’s going on. We’ve had a phone call from a Mr xxx. Do you know him? No, the name meant nothing. He’s worried about his employee.

Now the police weren’t clear about who had rang, whether it was the employer, the employee or a third party. But the employee, who turns out to be 1son, has been told that his mother is dead. What? The police are not clear whether 1son has been told I’m dead or whether they’ve been asked to tell him. They’ve been given some details like my full name (correct), my date of birth (slightly out), the ages of my two youngest (several years out). They don’t know what’s going on and neither do I. I ask them whether my son has been told I’m dead and they’re NOT SURE and go away and try to get hold of someone who is.

Eventually they hang up. I sit there nonplussed, now wide awake and baffled.I’m not sure whether someone has just phoned the police and told them this tale, whether my son has any knowledge of this. I try ringing him and it goes to voice mail. I try him a few times. I try his father. Nothing happens. I wonder whether they’re fast asleep oblivious to my total confusion. I keep trying.

I ring my son. He answers. “Hello” he says. “Hello” I say.

“You’re not dead. Thank fuck for that”.

I couldn’t agree more. My poor poor son got a phone call saying that I had taken an overdose, been taken to hospital and was dead. They got my name right. His boss had helped him try and get in touch with the hospital, ambulance service and eventually the police. Those details the police had got wrong were from my son, relayed to them through his boss and he had lost the ability to think straight.

My son thought I was dead for over an hour.

When I got hold of him he was about to get in a taxi and zoom across London to double check that I was dead and to look after his little brothers as he didn’t want them to wake up to a policeman watching over them and didn’t think my sister was capable of looking them, she being the only other kin in the country. What a love. He hadn’t even woken up his father to tell him what was going on.

He said he’d appreciate me more in the future, at least until the shock had worn off. I promised to be careful taking painkillers.

My son thought I was dead for over an hour.

This keeps going round in my head which is why I’m repeating it. We both said I love you before hanging up. He told his father what had happened, rang his boss and told him not to worry. Eventually we both went back to sleep.

 

 

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