My Grandfather is dying. Regular readers of this blog will know that my paternal Grandfather died many years ago when I was a small child. He was no great loss to the world. Now though, my other Grandfather is dying. And he will be.
In fact, he's been ill for a while with numerous ailments, some exacerbated by the meds needed for others in a vicious and undeserved circle of pain that might make a less sanguine man than myself very fucking angry at the world.
As I type these words, the prevailing opinion, which I just learned from my sister this evening, seems to be that this particular visit to the hospital - the most recent of many - will be the one he doesn't come home from.
I saw my Grandfather once, a few months ago, when he seemed a little 'out there', in a vaguely comical way (I know, I know) but before that it had been years, and then years again before that. Twice in something like 15 years. Life just got in the way and I never had the time.
Bullshit. I had the time, I just didn't take the time. And now, as the end comes closer, everyone in my family (many of whom have had less contact with him than I have, though I'm not using that to justify my own actions) is flocking to his bedside, showing their concern and acting all , well, family like.
I want to go and see him. Or rather, I want to want to go and see him. Honestly though, I really don't. He is, by all acounts, totally out of it. He wouldn't even know I was there. Apparantly my Mother (spit), who is one of those who has seen him less than me, and ripped him off for a substantial sum the last time she did, visited him yesterday and he didn't know who she was. That being the case, if he is getting nothing out of it, I would be doing nothing more than making a token appearance for the sake of, well, appearances. Seems hypocritical to me.
My biggest worry though is that I'm not entirely sure how to behave around my Grandmother. I'm not particularly upset, you see. I don't 'do' grief or sorrow or any of those emotions you are supposed to feel at a time like this. Believe me, I now how cold that makes me sound. I want to feel something, I just can't. I don't have it in me. So do I show up and stand around awkwardly,looking like I don't give a shit, purely to salve a guilty conscience I think I should have? How does that help her? Or him? Or anyone?
I love the guy, I really do. So far as I am capable. He's one of the very few people in this world, family or no, for whom I have any genuine affection at all. And yet...
You know the worst part? The part that I feel so shit about? The bit that honestly, truly, makes me hate myself just a little bit? It's that I know full well that my life won't change a bit when he does die. I won't cry, I won't break down, I won't grieve. I'll go on as before. I'll be watching my shows and reading my comics and going about my business 5 minutes after I get the news. I don't want to say I won't care, because I don't want to believe it of myself but in truth...
If nothing else, he has had one effect on me. For years I have gone through life, happy in my own little world, able to pretend that I'm normal. Able to forget, or at least intellectualise and accept, the coldness inside me. He is making me confront the truth about myself full on. And I don't think I like me very much.
Hell, my Grandad is dying and I've just written 600 words. About me.