I’ve had approximately nineteenty bajillion thoughts since he passed away. My mom says it was peaceful, and that he wasn’t in any pain. He was talking to her, but apparently none of it was coherent. He was too quiet. Or not making sense. Or something. I can’t remember.
Since then, everything has been hell, and I’m clinging on to trying to understand why.
Everyone is pain. Lots and lots of pain.
But the problem is, we’re all in different types of pain, and…it feels like no one is able to hear anyone else when in so much pain. This alone makes me hurt.
I don’t expect anyone to be able to be receptive to my needs right now. I totally get that, it makes perfect sense. I’m trying to support everyone as best as I can, but I also need my own time.
On the night that he died, I made the mistake of trying to talk to my sister about why I was hurting and why I was so sad and frustrated. I shouldn’t have done that. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her.
I shouldn’t have done that.
She yelled at me.
I don’t blame her. I’m trying not to blame anyone.
My brother has picked at me a couple of times too, and I don’t blame him. I know he’s in shock, and I’m doing everything within my weak capability right now to support him, like he asked me to. He asked me that, when the time came, that, if nothing else, if I can’t be there for his dad, then could I be there for him?
Of course I can. I couldn’t not be there; it makes sense to be there, to support him, them, all, as best as I can.
I’m not strong enough for that. I never once thought I was strong enough, nor did I think that I was, or am, some kind of superhuman. Quite the opposite; I know my flaws. I know my fuck-ups. I know my limits, and I know I’m not perfect.
It hurts to have those pointed out to you whilst you’re already tits deep in pain.
I’m pretty numb right now. I think I’ve shut down a bit, just to manage the paperwork over the next week, getting all the funeral plans in place.
He told me what he wanted, but I’m coming to realise he was probably delirious all the times we talked about it, because he’s told the opposite info to the rest of the family.
He told me he wanted to be buried in his smart grey suit which he wore to my Granddad’s funeral last year, but told the others he wants a different one.
He told me he wanted to be cremated, but told the others “there’s no way anyone is setting me on fire”.
He told me he doesn’t believe in the church, and that he resents everything they did, but told the others that God will save him.
I’m really confused right now, and I don’t understand what’s going on.
The weirdest thing right now, is, in trying to actually make an effort to be there, to be supportive, hell, to step dangerously, terrified into the path of being “part of a family”, I have never in all my days felt like more of an outsider.
No one seems to be able to hear what I need to say. So I stopped talking…and got criticised for not talking.
When I went in to see him, in his room, he looked like he had bee dead for weeks already.
His cheeks were sunken, his skin already grey. He reminded me of horribly preserved bodies you see on NatGeo; a body to die, to decompose, but with the unfortunate situation of being left to be almost perfectly preserved, some hundreds of years later.
His eyes weren’t properly closed. That bugged me a lot.
And they had removed his upper denture. I wish they hadn’t. His mouth had fallen open, and he just looked…wrong.
I felt sorry for him. I had felt sorry for him for weeks, months. Maybe years, but I knew I couldn’t do anything about it.
My family think I could have done. But they didn’t know about all the demons.
I can’t tell them, not yet. They’re not ready to hear, and it would be so unfair to them. So very unfair.
I was thrown by how tidy he looked. In his old, pale blue polo t-shirt, with his hands folded neatly over his stomach. They had tidied him up. I was thankful for that.
The previous phone call from the home was to tell me that he was in his bed, soaking wet and exposed, and refusing any help, care, food, water, or medication. When they had tried to help him, he had bitten them and punched them, trying to fight them off. I’m not surprised.
I’ll never forget the phone calls.
“J—-, come and get me out of here. NOW. And if you don’t, I will die in here and it will be your fault.”
“Dad, I’m doing everything I can right now, but I have to take the boys to school. The nurses are wanting to help you and look after you.”
“So you not coming now? To get me out of here? Because your dad is going to die here. Right here.”
“I’m doing everything I can to help you-”
“Ok then your dad is going to die. Bye bye. Bye bye dad. That’s your fault.”
I was sad that The Smalls heard that call. I don’t think they understood what he was saying. I hope they didn’t.
I’ll never forget those calls. There were lots of them. More times than I care to admit.
I tried hard not to take them on board. But it’s hard when the demons are fucking with your mind, willing you, daring you to jump into the hole.
Everything was so confusing, and the mixed signals left right and centre were making that hole really inviting.
Even though when I arrived they were in his room making him presentable, for reason I expected him to still look a mess. In my mind, that’s how it always was toward the end. He couldn’t lie still because of the pain. His sheets were always all over the place, and he would shout at me if I tried to help him tidy himself up. I couldn’t understand if he wanted my help or not. He seemed ok with others trying to help him, but he was so confused.
I can’t place blame. There is no one to blame.
Doesn’t take away the confusion, though.
We have to start to continue emptying his flat, soon. I don’t want any of his stuff. I’ve been made “executor of his estate”, his lack of a will dictates that everything will be passed down to his children and grandchildren, and I don’t want anything. I tried, for a week, to bring a nearly 40 year old Dutch pot into my house. I love to cook. I’m a good cook. I love my pots and pans. I tried to take it, even my brother nudged me to take it.
It never left the boot of my car.
Two of his suits are currently hanging up somewhere in my house. I don’t know where; I gave them both to The Mr; I asked him to put them out of my sight until the funeral. I still don’t know which one he wants.
The weird thing is, life continues as normal, now. Everyone moves on, everyone goes back to doing their thing. It’s so weird, so strange, and so perfectly normal. If we all stopped every time someone died, of course we’d never (ever) actually get started again. The entire world would grind to a halt. Maybe what we need is for time to just slow down a little bit, to give us a chance to process everything which is happening.
Right now, I want time to speed up.
Quite selfishly, I want this to be over. I want all the pain to fuck off, I want all my anxiety back at a manageable level, I want this endless nausea to do one, I want the never ending pain in my neck to ease up just a little bit, I want to go back to not feeling guilty every time I manage half a decent night of sleep.
I put my Fitbit back on recently, pretty much for shits and giggles. I wanted to monitor how much sleep I was actually getting. Everyone keeps telling me to “get some rest”. Some would lay a fuck ton of shit on me, and then tell me to get some rest.
I never understood what was going on there.
So I decide to see if I was actually getting any rest. I knew I was falling asleep at night, and waking up in the morning. But the results were hilarious. I’d be in bed for a total of 8 hours, and 5 of those hours would be marked as “restless”.
Wow, really? No shit. You don’t say.
I want to not smell stale smells every time I pick up his paper work to organise the next something something.
It’s mostly done, now. I’ve stayed on top of as much of it as I can. I’m glad for that.
When my brother and I saw him last Saturday, I knew that he knew. He knew he was pretty much done. I knew he was done. I knew he wouldn’t make it another 7 days. I was sad, then. I was sad for my brother, and my sister, because I knew how much they loved him, and how much they would miss him. What they went through with their dad, I went through with my Granddad. And my Granny. My heart shattered when they died. And I knew when my Granddad was done.
I remember, as I left the room, asking my brother if he had said goodbye, a proper goodbye. I knew he wouldn’t see him alive again.
My brother got angry. He yelled at me. I understand why.
I don’t like being the bearer of bad news.
One of my names means “messenger or angel”. There are times when this “fact” makes me laugh, out loud, with irony, with dry, cold, horrible humour.
During that visit, on Saturday, he got really agitated about where I was to stand, whilst in his room. Originally I was stood over by the window, opposite end to his bed. He pretty much lost his shit about me standing there. I could only guess why.
I knew what was coming. That’s when I knew. He had been slightly antsy about that spot before, I always stood there, because it felt…safe? I don’t know. I don’t like to stand in doorways. I didn’t want to stand in his doorway.
I remember my own levels of agitation being through the roof, and I know that I was on the verge of flipping out and losing my shit. I did, at one point. I had to leave the room. He yelled after me, but I couldn’t be in there, and I fully knew why. I wish I could have a chance to explain why to the others. But they won’t hear me. Maybe they won’t understand. Maybe they’re in too much pain.
I hope their pain passes completely, one day. Maybe one day.
I wish everyone could stop hurting. I’m glad he’s stopped hurting.
He’s one of the lucky ones. From confirmation of care, the Oncology Team gave him a 3 month diagnosis. Cancer gave him 15 days. 2 months ago, the most he had was a light back ache, and a tiny lump on his spine.
I’m really glad he’s stopped hurting.