Feb 23, 2012 Letters
I have read with personal interest the sad passing of Guyanese born Mr. Cecil Fitt and his wife, Joan Fitt, in Barbados. A similar incident had occurred in Guyana – right in my own family. My grandparents, Joseph and Susan Gushway, who resided at 65 Public Road, Kitty died less than one hour apart in the year 1954. My grandfather had been ill and his death was widely expected.
On the evening he passed, my grandmother diligently carried out the after-death chores i.e wrapping his body etc. When she had finished, she repaired to a couch and asked a good friend and neighbour, Miss Tracey, to sing a particular hymn to her. While Miss Tracey was singing, my grandmother simply slipped away. There are some striking similarities in both cases:
(i) Like the Fitts, my grandfather had been the one who was ill and my grandmother was his constant caregiver, just as Joan Fitt was to her husband.
(ii) Both couples had been married for many years: the Fitts for fifty-three years and my grandparents for forty-five years.
(iii) Both had five or more children.
The question which has lingered with me for long, all these many years, is whether my grandparents had discussed the timing of their deaths. It will be insightful for me to know if the Fitts had any such discussion.
At the time of passing my grandfather was eighty-four years. My grandmother was seventy-two. I was ten and I distinctly remember riding in a horse drawn coach to their funeral which took place on the afternoon following their deaths.
I take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathy to members of the Fitt family at this time of their bereavement.
Kenneth Gushway (Snr)
Jamaica, New York.
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