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idun
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Poor Val presumably has 101 things to do and think about before she will have time to get back on the Forum.  But I hope that seeing this on her return will be of a little comfort at a very dark time. 

Val - you have helped a lot of people with your advice and humour, and now have more cyber-friends than you could ever imagine.  We are all thinking of you and wishing you strength.

Chrissie (81)

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I am so shocked to read this, Val. You can have no idea how many times over the years your posts here and elsewhere have informed and guided us - me and my OH that is... but plenty of other members too, I'm sure. This was both through our renovations here and also as OH prepared to set up in business. The thing was, we all knew you and your husband were "doing the work thing properly" and your comments could always be relied on not only to be accurate but tell it as it is.

Sincere condolences and best wishes.

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I am very touched by your messages. To those who have e.mailed privately, please bear with me and I will get to you in the next few days, there are not enough hours in the day currently with everything that has gone/is going on.

As you can imagine the children and I are beyond consoling at this stage, unless you have lost a husband or wife of many years of marriage, it is undescribable the pain that we are suffering. He was only 56 and apart from diabetes type 2 which was under control, no inkling of anything else wrong. Apparently his main cartoid artery was blocked with cholesterol and finally a second massive stroke caused by the artery completely blocking starved his brain of blood and oxygen thus making him brain dead. Five people have had a chance of life again due to the donation of his very healthy organs and to us,it is such a comfort I cannot express. They call this a silent killer because you do not know your arteries are blocked unless you have a regular doppler test or scan and it builds up over a long time, rather like pipes and hard water.The only indication of anything out of order were pins and needles but he put that down to tennis elbow and an old injury and a continual bad headache for a few days. It is also a side effect of type 2,so please keep yourself checked should you suffer some odd symptoms with no reason for them.

All I can say is,that there is a great deal of help out there PROVIDED you are in the system to start with.No good coming to France and thinking the state will take care of you if you don't pay your taxes or cotisations etc and the assistante sociale at the hospital has been so helpful. Death itself is a strange animal here, no ashes to be kept on the property now and we had a beautiful civil ceremony with the hall packed with people and the private donations for us have been overwhelming along with the donations for brain illness research. I will post some details of death formalities here shortly for those who would like to know what is involved and a rough cost.
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