What to say here. I had always visioned this what if moment, especially after the heart attack. It was not like I had envisioned at all. I had a picture in my mind of waiting with him, with my wife and family. My wife standing behind me as I was holding his hand, my wife’s children crying for me. His eyes opening and closing from time to time, quietly knowing he was not to be left alone dying in the night screaming in pain. Sounds of birds in the background from a sound effect machine. It was ok to go my dearest man. You lived your life. You did a damn good job. My presence was living proof. A man I looked at as father for as long as I could remember. I saw everyone in town showing up to his funeral to say goodbye. All the people in the local stores he knew, all the people he played in leagues with, all the people he helped for no other reason than it was who he was.
But it was not to be. Reality is a much harsher mistress. She always will be.
The skin cancer he refused to have operated on years ago had rotted off his entire ear down to the cartilage. He refused to eat to the point where he was dying from malnutrition, he became not himself any longer. He was cranky, stubborn, miserable. Hid his pain. Nasty belligerent. A shadow of who he was. I was to tend to it alone. No one called, no one asked. No one cared. I began fighting with him because he refused to take care of himself until he got admitted to the hospital, then they feed him a few iv bags and send him back so the cycle would repeat itself. I would be running my grandmother down daily, and I had enough. I started to yell at him. I told him if he wanted to live like he claimed he needed to start eating and taking his medication and getting out of his bed once in a while. The back and forth shit was killing my grandmother with worry and if he wanted to die he needed to let me sign the do not resuscitate and be done with it. Make no mistake, if he tried to live I would have kept his head going in a fucking fishbowl if I had to.
He didn’t want to live. He wanted to die until he was dying then he wanted to live again. Enough was enough. I guess after I yelled at him enough was enough for him to. He refused everything after that. No food no meds no water no nothing. The hospital started to prep him to go back then he started drowning in his fluid in his lungs. I thought he going to go right there, I got the call and had to turn around to go back. I sat with him for hours alone. He’s wake up roll his eyes at me, then go back to sleep. 2 days later he went back to the nursing home. Nanny wanted to see him one night the nursing home called and said he was in bad shape. But nan finally agreed to hospice and that was starting in the morning. We go down there and he’s rolled out of bed, screaming in pain help me. even after they put him back in the bed. I said in my mind nobody can help you now. Your god damn stubborn ass is what killed you. If he would have just got the operation, if he just ate his meals, took his meds, tried a little. Now he was too far gone, there was no bringing him back. He was shutting down.
He died in the morning on may 30.
I wanted with all I had to just curl up in a ball and cry like a baby in my wife’s arms for hours. But I was alone. I had work to do. I had a funeral to arrange and social security to notify, family, friends, estate will to execute, obituary to write. Nobody to turn to. Fight now cry later. As usual in my case, it would be never. Barley anybody showed to the funeral, or showed up late. I had to find him a suit, nan who originally wanted a viewing decided she didn’t want to go at all, so i was stuck showing early and trying to find her a later ride. My uncle terry grumbled and complained the whole time because he was to sick to take nan anywhere, it was all I had. I had pictures to gather. The plot to arrange for the dig, I mean everything. I did everything. All myself, my first funeral I arranged and executed. Not too bad I think. No wife to cry on, no kids to console me. Not a fucking phone call. I guess they were busy. Funny how that works. All I done for them with their kin. Took them to visit theirs, helped nurse them to death, drove them to funerals. I shouldn’t have expected anything less. When your nothing, your treated as such.
My wife did put some time in to stay around and talk to me over the internet. I got no offer to come up though. Just pounded me in my gut harder and hardened my heart some more. I didn’t think I could get any colder. I was wrong. I got all kinds of shit from my family for not getting names right in the obit even when I called and no one answered. Funny how much easier it is to critique when you didn’t do shit to help. Couldn’t even make a fucking jello mold. Thanks, fuck off. Do it yourself if you got some shit to say. The only you did an amazing job I got was from the fucking funeral director. The family pole bearers didn’t even show up till 3 hours later. Sandy wanted to be there with me, but I wouldn’t allow it.
She did send flowers though, they were pretty. My wife and kids didn’t even send a card.
My wife however, did make this image she finished working on from last December, it was about the only thing that made this post worth mentioning instead of just carrying it in my own heart. I will miss that man forever, I wish I could have cried. I wish I had the time. I wish I wasn’t alone. But here I sit in this crypt, cleaning up the dead and the dying. Dying inside too.