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This is a question Have you ever seen a dead body?

How did you feel?
Upset? Traumatised? Relieved? Like poking it with a stick?

(, Thu 28 Feb 2008, 9:34)
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My grandfather died in July 05, when I was 19, and this is the first close member of my family to die, and as such was the first funeral I attended. He'd been sick for ages, chronic diabetes, then pancreatic cancer, then a stroke. In the few days up to his death, he'd been begging my nan to let him home, but we'd all been told to prepare for his death. He died about 5am, my mum got the call about 6, from my nan. I'd not long been in from work, so I was awake still. By 7, we were in Poole (living in Portsmouth at the time).

He looked like he was sleeping, those of us present, my nan, mum, aunt, uncle and me, we all expecting him to let out one of his little snores, grunt and roll over. The thing most troubling was in the week leading up to his death, he'd developed a problem with his foot, some kind of circulatory issue, and by the time we'd got there, it had turned bright fucking purple.

My mum and aunt were cut, my uncle was taking it in his stride, and my nan is a sensationally strong woman, and was helping my comfort the others. I remember not crying too, even at his funeral I didn't cry. I was upset, but I never had a particularly close bond to him, it was a sad loss, but an inevitable one, he was at peace.

The other significant story occured in August 2006, Bank Holiday Weekend. This was my uncle, Alec. Not technically my uncle, he was my grandfather's (dad's dad) brother, but we all called him Uncle Alec. He'd had lung cancer, and every time I went to see my grandparents, they'd say how weak he was becoming, and in the end he passed. Now this goes against QOTW principle, because I didn't see his dead body, I couldn't face it. At his funeral, I stayed in my seat, unable to stand through the weight of the tears.

This man was the thing legends are made of. He was the one who took fatherly responsibility for my sister and I, when my dad lacked this ability. He was the one who taught me how to fish, camping stuff, how to play, and cheat at, board games. He taught me half the rude jokes I know now, even though I was too young to really know what they meant. It's really hard to describe how much of an impact someone has on your life, but he just did. Nothing I say here will ever do him justice really.

Even though it's been a while, I still don't deal with this too well, he was supposed to be the crazy drunk at my wedding, with all the fun stories to tell. The thing that saddens me most, is I learned the coolest things about him, at his funeral, stuff like him knowing Swahili, from serving out there when he was younger. I'd give anything to chat to him about that now, just because there's so much stuff I never knew til it was too late. But the thing that sticks out to me is my last conversation with him, and as such my last words were, me hurrying to get off the phone, as I had to go meet my mum for lunch. Nothing shakes that guilt.

Apologies for length and all that, but hey, it's a story at any rate.
(, Fri 29 Feb 2008, 6:13, 1 reply)
*clicks regardless of relevance *
He sounds like he was an amazing bloke. It must have been really hard to lose someone like that.
(, Fri 29 Feb 2008, 20:51, closed)

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