My uncle died on Thursday.
It wasn’t totally unexpected; he’d had heart trouble for a long time and had a pacemaker fitted many years ago, which kept firing more and more lately. On Tuesday he came down to Melbourne for a fairly routine procedure to modify it, but as they were preparing for it he had a series of heart attacks. They put him on life support and induced a coma, but on Wednesday night told my Aunt that with the next attack they should just let him go. His circulation was starting to go, they’d probably have to amputate his legs, and with the number of resuscitations they’d done there may have been brain damage. There’d be no quality of life, it would just be delaying the inevitable. And so on Thursday morning he finally slipped away.
At least – at least – there was time for my cousins to get there to say goodbye. Two live in Ballarat, one’s in Frankston (but happened to have delayed a holiday to drive with his Dad to the hospital and stay for the procedure) and one works in the mines in Western Australia, and there was time for them all to be there. And even though it must have been at the back of all of their minds that Dad’s probably not going to be around for much longer, it’s still such a shitty thing that it happened at all.
I didn’t think I’d be this sad. I mean, it was only a matter of time; I thought I’d be prepared for it. But I keep thinking of my poor Auntie Jess, having to make that decision then saying goodbye to her love and going home alone, and I keep thinking of what a lovely gentle man Uncle Rob was, and the world already feels so much emptier without him in it.
Goodbye, Uncle Rob. You are so loved, and already so very much missed.