My stepdad Jim is the Kanye West of stepdads. He pushed all the other stepdads offstage because he is the greatest stepdad of all time.
Except, he didn't. I've never seen him push anyone. So softly-spoken and gentle and thoughtful and caring. He died a few days ago in a hospital room with a picture of Venice in it. The doctor called it "The Venice Room." In the end it was just him and mum, until he breathed his last breath.
There are no more breaths, no more stepdads, no more hospital visits for goodbyes.
I was his last visitor and sat with him for half an hour. I talked to him so hard, racking my brains for important and profound things to say, communed with the Spirit still sitting inside his body. The Jimness of the Jim. He heard every word I said. He couldn't talk and he couldn't see but he could feel my hands on his hands and he could hear my heart talking to his heart.
I don't know what I said. I'll summon it back to memory soon.
Jim actually has two "proper" children .... my step-siblings Mark and Lynn. They are beautiful people. Wasn't sure if they'd want me to mention their names but it's just the truth and in the end there is no "step" and no "proper" there's just Love. And Family. He loved them so much. SO much.
So no more fighting for pain relief. The only pain left is ours.
The past few days have been funeral directors and photos and order of service and flowers and a deep grief that will not go away for a very, very long time. My sisters and I are biding with mum, in traumatic shift changes. We all have two young children each and it's been tricky. Lucky we're awesome at being tricky.
I can't drive for shit. I tumble down into myself and there's not much relief and that's just how it is. I'm not good, not good, not at all. At all. Can't even seem to write my way through it like I usually do. Sorry, everyone waiting for an update! My swirly word bullshit has no power tonight. Yours still does. My mum stayed at that hospital every night and day, in the end. She kept re-reading your comments. Thank you so, so much for your words and shared experiences about living through a loved ones death. Like, being there and watching the decline.
All roads led to the fall of the Roman Empire.
There were a lot of goodbyes. Death is messy. I was a death virgin in a lot of ways. Came back home traumatised, night after night, researching "death transitions" to get a bit educated because Computer - holy hell. My head is still a little bit screaming.
So. In conclusion ... there is none. I have no platitudes, no brightly-wrapped bow, no beautiful moral to the story, no gifts, no soup for you. I have nothing. Mum looked around at us all today and said .... "Well, we all have flat tyres today." And I wanted to say "Yeah, and our cars went careening off the hill and smashed into a thousand pieces and burst into flames and we all ran away with broken legs and our hair on fire."
But I didn't say that. We hugged her and kissed her and made her laugh and helped her choose a coffin and watched as she got the last clothes out for him to wear, even undies. We sat as she listened to music and ordered the $14.50 per head buffet for the wake and she made caramel slice and wrote the saddest Facebook status update in the world.
If I had a job I would quit it to become a cancer-ward-getter-innerer. I'm good at it. If you ever need to get into a cancer ward, call me. I'm your manhand. It was the most important thing I could do, for him.
The second most important thing is to write the shit out of his eulogy.
People are reading here who knew Jim very well, in life - hi. I'm a weirdo, this is called a blog, and Kanye West is an American rapper who pushed Taylor Swift offstage as she was accepting an award so now he is the butt of a lot of jokes. I had other dads before Jim and Jim won the dad competition. I don't know why I started this post out like that but I'm too tired and sad to start it again. I won't even edit this much. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for loving on my mum. She needs it and deserves it. Jim kept saying, on the night of his stroke four weeks ago when he was terrified he was going to die, "Your mum is a good woman. Look after her."
We all promised him that he wasn't going to die.
I hate this blog post. Sorry mum ... I'll write a better one soon. Promise. I love you.
Jim, where'd you go? Is it as good as I told you it would be? Tonight in the car Rocco kept saying, "The moon is following us home, mum!" And I really, really hoped it was true.