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Rough

One week ago today my Uncle Ron died. His stage 4 metastatic melanoma finally beat him at the age of only 42. I was with him when he passed. Just me and his stupid wench of a girlfriend. It was messy. Very messy. I was with my grandfather when he passed away as well but it was quiet. This was just awful. My mom landed on her flight from PR just 35 minutes afterward. Mike had my 10 year old cousin down in the cafeteria, my aunt and grandmother went down to the front of the hospital to meet the boys, so it was just me and the wench. I called them up as soon as I recognized the rattle but it was too late by the time they made it back up. I was supposed to keep it together and make sure my grandmother was ok. I was supposed keep the level head and handle things, but I did a shit job. I kept it together but I made mistakes. Like I forgot to make sure that we had his clothes left for the dressing or I forgot to ask for bathing supplies from the nurses, and I didn't call the right funeral home. FUCK! Everyone left the hospital except me. I stayed and waited with my uncle for the hour it took my mom to get from TPA to Moffitt. When she got there she did all the right things, but we had to dress him and lay him out in hospital gown. We washed him, and shaved him, and put new sheets under him. I can still feel his dead skin under my hands. Lividity had set in. His back was turning purpley and a puncture hole in his arm began to leak. The worst part is that this was his fifth and final biochemo treatment and it was working. He really looked great. But a small portion of the tumor actually made it to his brain and bled out. when we first got to the hospital at 3am his right side was paralyzed, like a stoke victim. Luckily I was able to hold the phone up to his ear and let my mom and my uncle scott talk to him. He opened his eyes and made a noise so I know that he heard them.
On Wednesday we began to make the arrangements. He is entitled to a full veteran memorial service. Cremations are absurdly expensive, which I know is the last thing that we should think about, but its ridiculous. The VA provides the space for the urn down at BayPines along with a space for my aunt along with the plaques to mark the spaces. The cremation itself is $3000 for the basic one, no embalming, no viewing, no urn, no nothing, just setting him on fire. Plus $75 for the death certificate, $40 fee for the medical examiner to sign off on it, $250 for the obituary and a $150 fee to have the body moved from Tampa to Clearwater. I bought the urn today for $600 (which btw is the 2nd time in 18 months I have had to shop for an urn online at work.) The flowers will reach in excess of $400. Plus I have to put together pictures and books for the viewing. Not to mention the money for the food and liquor for the gathering after the service. My mom and I have the money, so its not a problem of being cheap or not being able to afford it, but the whole thing just makes me feel like we are being taken advantage of. How do people without access to cash take care of this stuff? I think I'm only ranting about trivial shit to help stave off the guilt and pain.
To make it all worse, I had to attend the Top Manager Trip from Thursday to Sunday. My mom yelled at me and told me I had to go. Which I did, but I had a rough time of it. I was able to dull the pain with the help of four days of open bars. However within minutes of getting through our front door and reading a sympathy card from Mikes aunt, I lost it.
My assistant is officially on bedrest for the next six weeks until her due date, so I have no coverage for 5 months. Its just me at work, so I had to beg for a few hours off and coverage from another branch on the 9th in order attend the funeral. Even though I changed my vacation twice, came back from my trip early, and will be functioning without days off for the better part of two quarters, I was given a hard time about getting coverage for 5 hours. Such BS.
Plus, the stupid wench decided that it would be appropriate to post pictures of my uncle on facebook, post mortem. Who the fuck does that?

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