After nearly a decade...
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28-12-2012, 04:34 AM
RE: After nearly a decade...
So the viewing and funeral have been packed into Saturday afternoon. I've gotta be a pallbearer because I'm one of the few able-bodied men who will show up (I have a feeling I'll be carrying the casket with a few hired men I've never met).

(Most of what follows is boring family drama, included only because I enjoy ranting, so if that's not your thing, you will be forgiven for bailing out now)

The whole thing was gonna be on Monday, for no other reason than because my grandmother has become a total vindictive child in the last 48 hours and didn't want her estranged daughter to be able to attend. She (the daughter) didn't have a great relationship with my grandfather, for reasons which should be obvious from my original post, so when she finally left home, she never looked back. That is, until about a year ago when my mom found her through Facebook and convinced her to fly back and make amends. She did; made peace with my grandfather, and everything was settled. Well, the day he died, my grandmother called her from the nursing home and gave her the news. My aunt had been planning to visit at the end of this week to see him one last time, but when she learned that he died, she spoke in the context of the moment and said "I guess there's no reason for me to come, then." Being the mental-midget that she is, my grandmother took this to mean "I have no reason - funeral or otherwise - to visit, and will not be doing so". So she flips a shit, and when she later found out that my aunt would be flying in tomorrow (Friday) morning, she did all she could to get the funeral postponed until Monday, when my aunt will have already left. Our family is not new to such manipulative and unreasonable behavior; I've spoken elsewhere on the forum of my unstable paternal grandmother who offed herself after her husband died. She was manipulative beyond all reason; to the point of throwing herself down the stairs on occasion simply to make a point. After dealing with her, we're used to crazy old women stirring shit for stupid reasons. But we've never expected it from the current antagonist, and it's putting a stress on those choosing to be emotionally invested.

Also, as I fully expected, the religious bullshit is flowing forth like a torrent. All in the family who know I'm an atheist have gone out of their way to speak to me about religion. Not in a way that is meant to encourage me to rethink anything, but in a very in-my-face, matter-of-fact sort of way. Be it by phone or in person, they've made sure to approach me head-on and explain that he'll be in "the New System of things" (paradise on Earth after Jehovah has rid the world of evil) and how they're so very happy about that. I'm not really sure what their intentions are, respectively; whether they're trying to say "I'm sure of these things and you can't stop me" or "I don't care if you don't believe; it's a fact". Either way, it's annoying as fuck and I do my best to smile politely and keep my thoughts to myself. Unfortunately, I have been put on the spot by my young brother, which has happened in the past but now that he's getting older and becoming more aware of the dynamics of life's issues, it's becoming slightly awkward. Circumstances were such that my sister and I were the ones to tell him that grandpa had died, and after a moment of contemplation, he asked "But it's ok because he'll be in the New System, right?" We just looked at one another awkwardly before my sister replied with a muffled "Mm-hmm." Given the situation - our family being believers and the child being out of our hands - it was the...I'll say "least-bad" of all the answers she could have come up with on the spot, but she was kicking herself afterward. I can't wait until that kid's old enough for us to be able to level with him like an adult about these sorts of things.

Continuing on matters of religion, I've learned the indentities of several who will be attending the services, and they're all bug-nutty God-botherers from my past. There's a reason I left those people far behind. Unfortunately, because it's been so long, there is no doubt they'll be expecting the same person they last saw so many years ago, which means I'll likely be confronted with religion numerous times. They: expecting a mutual belief on which to lean in such trying times, and me: not being able to reciprocate. Worst of all (at least, in my view), nobody in my family will be bringing any sexy, young female friends or relatives, so there's pretty much zero-chance of getting a pity-lay out of all this. (Gawd!)

So, there it is for the next couple of days. I've gotta be all pretty in my finest dress-shirts and, oh, tomorrow I've gotta go shopping for some fine dress-shirts. When I left the faith, I donated all of my Sunday best to Good Will.

Good news, though: I'll be getting my piercings sometime next week, so I'm happy about that. Big Grin

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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28-12-2012, 07:55 AM
After nearly a decade...
Hug

No homo.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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28-12-2012, 08:55 AM
RE: After nearly a decade...
(26-12-2012 10:35 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Either way, his wife and her friend were “shoving God down his fucking throat”, as my sister so eloquently put it, and were doing so at a time when the majority of what little strength he had was being spent on taking his next feeble breath.


That's why my husband forbid his family to come and watch him die and insisted that he be home alone with me.

My mom passed in a hospital, and she asked me to please prevent the priest from entering the room.

Of course they were atheists and probably would have been bothered by religious administrations a lot more than your believing gramps.

The process of approaching death is perhaps the most vulnerable time of your life. You hear everything, but the ability to communicate has gone. You are totally defenseless. It is the period or exclamation mark that ends the sentence that described your life.

People deserve to die in peace. A room full of crying, babbling people doesn't exactly help. One familiar, supportive person is what makes the transition smooth.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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28-12-2012, 09:03 AM
RE: After nearly a decade...
Come back and rant as you need to...don't let this all build up. We are here. Hug

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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28-12-2012, 11:50 PM
RE: After nearly a decade...
(28-12-2012 07:55 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  No homo.
Damn. Dodgy

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30-12-2012, 04:12 AM (This post was last modified: 30-12-2012 04:16 AM by Misanthropik.)
RE: After nearly a decade...
So all in all, it went pretty well. Lots of God, lots of begging me to "come back", etc. But nothing out of the ordinary for your average viewing/funeral. One of my girlfriends surprised me by showing up at my house all dressed up before I left. She decided she wanted to be my support for the day, so that was pretty cool.

I was gonna write a more detailed description but we came home and passed out in bed and I just woke up, so I'm all bleh. Deal with it. Drinking Beverage

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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30-12-2012, 05:52 AM
RE: After nearly a decade...
Glad it went well....get some rest....

Drinking Beverage Grab a cuppa' joe; sit-n-read my blog for a spell: www.vaweber.wordpress.com
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03-01-2013, 06:02 AM
RE: After nearly a decade...
(26-12-2012 10:35 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  ...ol' Gramps is finally dead. It might've been the heart; it might've been the diabetes; it might've been absurdly old age (most normal people have already been dead for about 10 years). Either way, he finally passed about 2 hours ago*. Ironically, I had just started down the road to pay him what was looking to be one last visit when I got the call. (Is it horrible that I was relieved?)

As it transpires, my last visit took place earlier today at around noon when I got a call from my mom, who got a call from the nurses; saying that his original declaration of "6 months" turned into "sometime this evening". He had begun to drift in and out of consciousness and his breathing was reduced to shallow, pathetic gasps. So everyone (in the family) dropped their respective duties and engagements and gathered en masse to the nursing home to pretend we all happened to stop by at once to say hello, rather than to fulfill some inner drive to see a loved-one for the final time. Quite frankly, I'm not sure he knew that half of us were there. Who he most assuredly knew was there was my grandmother - his talkative, child-like wife - who had evidently realized the fact that no, he will not be "getting his strength back" so the two of them can dance through the tall grass once more; he was knocking on death's fucking door, and it was time to wake up to reality. So she took the time to read, through very teary eyes, the numerous love letters and anniversary cards she had penned for him over the years. (I specify that she was the main author, because honestly, I'm not sure he gave more than perhaps 55% of a shit) He would start to drift off to sleep again; hoping that maybe he could spend his final moments in peace, and she would promptly wake him up to say "Remember babby? Remember when Susan did so and so at the whereverthefuck with the whogivesashit? Wasn't that darlin'?" At those moments, even his completely dilapidated body managed to jump with a start before letting out a groan; half of "Oh, yeah" and half of "Please shut the fuck up so I can die".


The part that annoyed me the most was when my grandmother's life-long church buddy showed up. They're both devout (like, "this thread reaches face-palm levels if you keep reading" devout) Jehovah's Witnesses and decided it was time to pray with my grandfather in his final hours. When the church buddy arrived, the religious literature came out and my grandmother began to read page after page of everlasting life and Jehovah’s glory to the barely-conscious man. Now, I don’t know the status of the guy’s faith. He was a steadfast Witness most of his adult life, but I recall an incident which took place when I was about 13 during which he told me that he had “looked at a lot of religions in my time; up to and including the Witnesses up there at the Kingdom Hall. After all these years, I’ve realized they’re all just….bah.” But again, that was when I was 13, and since that time, he has on occasion mentioned various aspects of religious doctrine as though they were realities; so I really can’t be sure if he had genuinely lost some measure of faith, or if he was simply a grumpy old man (And grumpy he was. He put Chas to shame in the grump department Wink ). Either way, his wife and her friend were “shoving God down his fucking throat”, as my sister so eloquently put it, and were doing so at a time when the majority of what little strength he had was being spent on taking his next feeble breath. In his condition, even the most devout man would have endeavored, if he possessed the necessary strength, to reach out and toss the books across the room in an effort to end the babble-mouthed onslaught. (Spend 5 minutes with my grandmother and you’ll understand)


After reading from the books for what felt like hours, they decided it was time to pray. Well, anyone who knows the Witnesses intimately knows that women aren’t worthy to approach the Almighty while in the presence of males - particularly males who have been baptized. Even in my 20 years I had never been baptized (I felt I wasn’t worthy of the responsibility, but that’s another story), but my dad - being a former Catholic - was quick to take the literal plunge so as to somehow preserve his standing with God. So, being that he and I were the only two males in the room (aside from my grandpa; a small fact they seemed to have overlooked completely), they asked us to leave. My sister is also an atheist, but she opted to stay for what I assume was the sake of shits and giggles. After my dad and I left the room, my grandmother and her friend went into full voo-doo mode and asked my sister to lend her hat so that my grandmother could cover her head as she prayed. (Even as a Witness, I found this to be somewhat unsettling behavior)


Anyway, that was around noon today, and we all went back to our lives with the plan of gathering again this evening to see him. And as I said, I was just on my way to do so when I received the call that he had passed. Now as you’ve guessed, I’m not the most sentimental person and I take death with all the nonchalance of any other trivial activity. I wasn’t always that way, but I most certainly am now. Not that it’s important. But now, I’ve got a lovely week of viewings, funerals, Kingdom Hall attendances and long-lost acquaintances (all highly religious) to look forward to. My grandfather was nice enough to be in the same room with, but in regard to who he was as a person; he was really kind of an asshole. A guy who gave his step-son a concussion by throwing him against the wall and lifted his wife off her feet as he held her by her throat. A man who insisted, quite matter-of-factly, that “the black men who go to the Kingdom Hall are just ‘blacks’. That’s ok. But the rest of them - who don’t go to the Kingdom Hall - they’re ‘niggers’.” He was a misanthropic old man (far beyond what I fancy myself to be) who went from a highly-esteemed job at the Pentagon to being an absolute shut-in; having alienated anyone who ever cared about him in the slightest. Save for my grandmother, that is.


As I said, she is an incessant talker with the mind of a child. And in fact, I mean that in a rather literal way - she was raped and molested for much of her late childhood/early adulthood and it’s been my observation that she’s not developed past that point in her life. For this reason (and, I’m sure, for many more to which I’m not privy), she clung to that man’s side - even as he beat and berated her while she attempted to clean up the product of his loosening bowels - right up until the end. He was truly the only thing she lived for. She lived to serve him, despite his mistreatment.


My original point in saying all of this is that I’m now the only one to do anything physical during funeral services - that is unless my uncle (the wall-slammed step-son) decides to overlook his history with the man who’s now dead and do his part to help out. My cousin is in the Air Force as is currently deployed god-knows-where, and my dad is in his 50’s with a back made of mesh and synthetic bone, so I doubt he’ll be lending a hand.


Overall, though, we’re all now faced with the task of caring for my newly-widowed grandmother who is now without a husband for whom to care. After some time, I’m going to suggest she returns to the one thing that gave her actual, personal joy in her life; driving kindergartners to and from school on the bus. That is, assuming she lives that long (her “jokes” about self-harm have shown an increasing lack of punch-lines over the months and now more resemble "statements" than anything).


So anyway, the old guy’s dead and this forum is a good place to share significant events with the world. So there it is.

(Perhaps it would’ve been better off in the ranting thread…) Consider

*The time of posting puts it at about 3 hours.


I also lost my grandfather about two years ago. I am glad he is dead. I was happy when he died and I am still happy. He never abused me or anything like that, so it is not a revenge thing as might be your case. I was sad for him when he was barely clinging to something one might loosely call life. I don't think you are sane if you don't feel happy when someone that is extremely old and in really bad condition dies. Sadness is what I would feel if I lose a child, not someone that has had a full life and is going to die naturally surrounded by family. We should all be so lucky. I see death for what it is though, the end. The deeply religious get so sad, because death something that starts to break down their mental barriers they put up to contain religion. Religious people get really upset when you are on the right course to tear down those mental walls and expose the truth. Death cannot be avoided currently and the religious know that.
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