So because I haven't officially commented on it yet, I'll comment on it now.

I had three previous posts about my step-dad's condition.

September 20th, 2010 at 12:30 am, he died.  Yeah, I'm not into the "passed away" nonsense.

He was gasping for breath, like a fish out of water.  My mother called it a "death rattle" and she knew he was going to go because she worked in a nursing home for years.  It's a horrible thing.

I'd never seen anyone die before.  I have to admit, it is as terrible as it is rewarding.

I'd never seen anyone die before.  I have to admit, it is as terrible as it is rewarding.  I'm glad I was there to say goodbye.  Unlike some people, I didn't feel anything when he passed.  He kept getting quiet now and then, and Steve and I would look at each other wondering, is he gone?  Then he would breathe again.  This happened a few times, and the last time it happened, needless to say it was the last.  It's a long moment wondering, will he breathe again?  Now?

There's not much of a difference between someone who was just alive and someone who is dead.  Maybe I feel that way because he was already so close to death.  There was no change, just a lack of breathing, and time.  His eyes were closed, his mouth was open.  There was a fly in the room, already stalking the scent of death.  I would have done anything to kill that fucking fly.

My mother was hysterical.  She was so mean to him the last few days before he died, mocking him because he thought he could get from point A to point B, and he would fall down in between.  I'm amazed that she managed to absolve herself so quickly.

I had to call the people from hospice, aka the vultures.  I told them who I was and that Harry had passed away.  I hate that phrase.  She said in the most unbelievably patronizing tone of voice, "He is (Pronounced "eeez").  I hung up on that bitch.

I didn't want anyone near the body except for close relatives.  It wasn't right, but they came anyway.  They brought their fucking children.  They said, "Give him a kiss."  That's just freaking sick.

It was along wait for someone to come.  I felt like I needed to guard his body.  We had to wait for paramedics to come and confirm that, yep, we're not stupid - he was dead.

They took him and the bed sheet he was wrapped in.  We all  stood outside on the ramp that had been constructed not even a week ago just so Harry could get around easier.  It was cold.  We were crying and cold from crying.  We stood outside for a long time, thinking of what to say, and trying to laugh whenever we could.

I went back to bed.  Didn't dream. Went to school in the morning, but not to class.  I hid in the music area and cried and called my dad and his family.  They didn't understand.  I found my friend at lunch and took her to a private bathroom and told her, and we cried.  That was good, because I realized that usually when you cry, you fucking cry alone.  I learned that later that night at marching band practice, when it hurt to keep going, and everyone else laughed in their own world, even though they knew, and I screamed.

He didn't live long enough to see his birthday in October, or my 18th in November, or my graduation on June 3rd.  Goals I had jokingly held him to when he was alive.  Sometimes you just can't make a goal.

I didn't dream of him for a long time.  The first time I did, he called me on the phone.  He wanted to let me know that he wouldn't be seeing me on the other side, because I didn't have a soul.

I think that's true.

My mother didn't want to sleep in the bed where he died.  She slept in the lazy-boy for a while.  But eventually she went back to her bed.

It took weeks and several strips of flypaper to get rid of the flies.  They could smell death somehow, even after he was gone.  I fucking hate flies. They are the true harbingers of death.  You cannot comprehend how evil they are until they invade the area where someone died, searching for a place to lay their spawn, pissing all over your sense of reverence, reminding you that everything is filth.

Another thing I realized about death, is how unfair it is for someone to become past tense.  You no longer are, you were.  It's the worst injustice imaginable.  I can't see how someone stops affecting the world.  Some last longer in our memories than others.  It feels like cheating them.

Some people get upset with the fact that I can still joke about death.  Crudely.  That's just too bad for them.  Life goes on, even if it shouldn't.  Too many people die for it to be offensive.  Respect the people themselves, but death is not something that isn't worth laughing at.  If only because we know that none of us will escape it.
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