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..taking a break..

feel free to unfriend me - nothing much to see here for the forseeable future - i will still be logging in to keep up with my flist though.. i just don't want you all to feel under obligation, or disappointed in my silence.


ongoing theme

again, not much to say - other than i had to have my mother's cat put down today.

she was an old girl - somewhere between 16 and 17 (so i've known her since i was 10/11) - but had been sprightly and healthy up until last week. and now my mum is away for a few nights, and so we had to have many a quick phone conversation to try to figure out what to do. maddy was seen by the emergency vet who was lovely and said it felt like she'd had kidney failure, and that in essence it was a matter of time. the options were to throw all kinds of meds at her and hope for the best, but would mean pulling about an old old lady; bring her home and let her wait it all out - could result in fits and pain; or end it.

i'm sick of death being in my life. it's around me all the time. it's tiring, and saddening. and with maddy, she was old and had a great life and everyone dies eventually but i just would have liked it to not be happening now.

and the logical part of me knows it was simply like falling into a deep sleep for her. but the illogical part of me points out that she didn't choose that - couldn't choose it because she couldn't speak, and all of the what-ifs of the other options. the vegan part of me wants to ask questions about the ethics of me deciding when another creature should live or die, but i also know that that shouldn't really be an issue now as we've given her an amazing life for 16 years - if she was human she'd be 112 by now! no wonder we used to jokingly refer to her as mister burns as she waddled around the house. i know that this way she's definitely not had to suffer, and she's peaceful now. it's just hard.

edit: i really don't want to seem like a mardy little girl. there are nice things in my life. many of my loveliest friends have been spending the summer getting engaged. i'm in the process of converting the garage into a studio space for me. i start a silver jewellery course and a dressmaking course in a couple of weeks. these are things i get excited about. but i think all of this emotional battering makes me feel perpetually delicate. i want someone to send me something nice in the post - anyone. i just want something nice to surprise me and remind me that the world isn't only full or horrid surprises but nice ones too. hm.
so what better night to reply to my dad?


I got your email.. Wasn't really sure what to say in reply. The following day (18th) was Paul's funeral. I feel like the last couple of years have been extremely difficult, and your choice of when to randomly attempt contact with me was both poignant and painful, despite you having no idea of why it would be so.

Paul had been suffering with both bowel and liver cancer for at least the past 18 months - that was when he was formally diagnosed, shortly after an uncomfortable christmas spent vomiting and sleeping. He'd probably had the bowel cancer for quite some time but had no idea and had put his symptoms down to IBS. About 6ish months prior to his diagnosis, mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a single mastectomy swiftly followed by a full course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. When Paul was diagnosed, she was literally losing her hair and struggling to cope with everything else.

She has her hair back now, and has been dealing with Paul's death admirably. I can't really write much more than this because I find the whole situation both incredibly painful, confusing and something which seems to suck whole evenings away with no progress in my mind being made. I was feeling better this week, which is why I was thinking about figuring out what to say in response to your email. But even writing down just the very bare facts of the past couple of years is enough to make me break down all over again and I don't want to spend a Friday night crying onto my keyboard.

Out of the 27 years I have lived so far, Paul has been present and caring for me for nearly 20 of them. Despite me rejecting him for years, and being absolutely dreadful towards him, and resenting him and fighting him and having tantrums because of him - it was he who was at my graduation and it was he who paid some debts off for me when I completely messed up and it was he who showed me how to test the tire pressure on my car. He cared for me as though I was his own child even when I was my most horrible, and I never really appreciated him until it was too late. And I really miss him.

A friend pointed out that there must be some strange forces determined to keep the patriarchal circle complete thus making you email when you did. I have no expectations out of this correspondence, but felt it courteous to reply.

I hope this email finds you well, or better than those of us in Wulfruna Gardens.




today is paul's funeral.

i am wearing a heavyweight cotton 3/4 length sleeve tulip shaped mini dress, black, from gap - a vintage black and white neck scarf stripey thick black tights and black knee high boots. i have wizard of oz red glittery nailvarnish, red lipstick and dark eyes. my hair is in a freshly cut and bleached white faux-hawk of sorts, although i realise that's a rather cunty term to use.

it may seem odd to be recording such trivia but in all honesty i still don't think the realisation that we are at an end of a painful era has fully hit me yet. the living room is full of cards and flowers. the house is still full of paul. little things, like a to-do list written on his whiteboard. post-it notes stuck to his monitor. not sure when the real tidy-up and moving on will occur. how do you even measure such amounts of time?

later on today i will be the only one doing any kind of 'speech'. mel is far too tearful, my mum is too raw and hasn't yet processed any of this fully. i will talk about how he has been a surprising father figure for me over the past 20 years when my own father had vanished without much of a trace. i will talk about his kindness and his generosity. i will do my best not to cry.

and outside all of this, yesterday i received an email from my dad. the first time i've heard from him since i was doing my dissertation and he emailed me out of the blue asking if i had any memory of him abusing me as a child. as usual, his timing is impeccable. so that will be put to one side to be dealt with once today is over and done with.

i feel rather hollow.

end of an era

paul died on friday, late afternoon.

i wasn't there when he passed away - i'd nipped home from the hospice to catch an hour of sleep. his slow rhythmic breathing had sent me drifting off time and time again at the hospice, and we hadn't known how long he would have. shortly after i woke up, the phone call came through.

he slept through to the end, with my mum patiently sat by his side. and then he took an unexpected deep breath - opened his eyes for the first time in hours and hours, looked all around him with a smile on his face, and then closed his eyes and that was it. sounds like something out of a film. he had no pain in the end, at least.

i saw him, after the staff cleaned him and laid his body out neatly. they tucked him into bed, and laid some chartreuse carnations next to his head. by the time i saw him, he was very yellow. i held his hand. it felt soft and cold, but his hands had been cold for days as his body began to shut down. his hands were so delicate, so smooth and soft. i studied him, watched him intently. expecting some movement - breathing, snuffling, signs of sleep. he just looked so still that my eyes kept tricking me into thinking it was simply a deep sleep. but he had gone. he felt very present in the room, and then suddenly the room felt empty.

i have a lot more thoughts on this, but not the energy nor the composure to write them down just yet.


kodamas miyazaki
do you really feel alive without me?

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