Like a dear friend said to me, "When a person is ill before they die, and even if they aren't, if you know they are going to die, the last 24 hours is horrible, whoever it is, for those that have to watch.". Thing is we knew he was VERY ill, but he rallied overnight and then... well... you know what the end was.
I'm going to do this in a funny way, since I can cope with funny...
Anyone who knew Joel would know that he loved the Discworld, and one of his favourite characters was Death... looks like he finally got to meet the guy (sorry make that 'anthropomorphic personification'!!) in person!! Here's how I imagine it...
JOEL THOMAS MILBURN?
I've been called worse! But yeah, so where to from here?
THAT RATHER DEPENDS ON YOU, I THINK.
Hmm... so is there an 'afterlife' or not?
AGAIN, I THINK THAT IS A MATTER OF BELIEF.
Ah, yeah, bit of a problem there then, could I try a few eventualities out before I decide?!
YOU ARE, I BELIEVE, A FAN OF MR. PRACHETT'S?
THEN YOU ARE AWARE, OR WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE READ 'THE THIEF OF TIME'?
AND THEREFORE KNOW THAT AFTER DEATH YOU HAVE, WHAT IS THE PHRASE 'ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD'
Ah, yes, but.... am I IN the world, part of it, or outside normality?
THAT, AS YOUR DEAR WIFE WOULD PROBABLY QUOTE FROM 'THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST...'
Oscar Wilde, yeah...
INDEED, MR. WILDE.... "THAT IS CLEARLY A METAPHYSICAL SPECULATION, MR. MILBURN" OK THAT IS A MISQUOTE BUT YOU GET MY MEANING....AND MENTIONING YOUR WIFE....
Yes, what do I do about Pol. I tried to tell her in those last few 'living' hours that I love her.
DON'T YOU MEAN LOVED, PAST TENSE?
No, never. I LOVE Pol, with all my heart, have for a very long time, and always will. She's everything to me and I'm everything to her, my poor girl, she will literally feel like her heart is ripped out.
INDEED, THERE I CANNOT HELP YOU, I CANNOT CONTROL LOVE. THOUGH I UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT, I DO NOT HAVE FEELINGS AS SUCH. BUT I DO HAVE A FONDNESS FOR ALBERT, MY HORSE BINKY AND MY GRAND-DAUGHTER SUSAN. I SUPPOSE THAT IS AS CLOSE TO LOVE AS I GET. BUT I OFTEN SEE THESE 'LEAKAGES' IN HUMANS
Tears, crying, yes. Unfortunately, Pol could cry for the Universe. OK the term is normally 'could...', in this case...'cry for Britain', but Pol... when she cries, which isn't often as she's a strong woman, she's been through a lot, she REALLY cries buckets. This one is going to be tough for her. Hey, is it possible to stick around her a bit, just so she knows I still care?
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, I DON'T SEE ANY ANGELS, VALKYRIES OR OTHER RELIGIOUS PERSONAGES ABOUT TO CARRY YOU OFF, SO IT SEEMS MR. MILBURN YOU CAN GO WHEREVER YOU PLEASE. BUT WILL 'POL' BE ABLE TO FEEL YOU? AND, DOES SHE REALLY NEED TO KNOW YOU STILL CARE, I MEAN MORE THAN SHE ALREADY KNOWS THAT YOU LOVE AND CARE ABOUT HER?
She will remember in time, but right now she might need reminding. She's hurting, yes, our connection was such that even though I'm dead and beyond PHYSICAL pain, I'm not beyond emotional or metaphysical pain....we have a very special bond, it's TRUE love and as such, I feel what she feels, even now, and in a way it's comforting, although I wouldn't have her hurt for the worlds, it's testament of how much she really does love me. Not that I didn't know but it's nice to have it confirmed. Oh my poor darling, don't cry. Rather reminds me of that BeeGee's BT advert.
I AM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THIS...?
Oh it's a song they sing 'I've Gotta Get a Message To You'... but how does one that has 'passed over' get messages to the other side (he holds up a hand as Death tries to talk)...oh I know these so called 'spiritual mediums' most of them - MOST of them are total quacks, and those that aren't.... well the chances of finding one that actually CAN that is anywhere near Pol, besides she's not without talents that way herself, she IS a witch.
I AM AWARE, SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE FEELING ME AND YOU NOW... THAT IS IF HER MORPHIC FIELD WAS NOT CLOUDED BY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW, SHE'S BEEN AWARE OF ME BEFORE, WHICH IS WHY SHE'S CRIED OFTEN FOR YOU.
Were you threatening her? I mean with my death?
NOT AT ALL, I WAS MERELY PASSING THROUGH AND SHE CONSTANTLY THOUGHT IT WAS THAT TIME FOR YOU, AND IN SOME WAYS SHE'S BEEN THROUGH WHAT SHE IS GOING THOUGH NOW A THOUSAND TIMES. COUNT THE DAYS YOU WERE TOGETHER SINCE YOU TOLD HER ABOUT THE PANCREATITIS, THAT IS HOW MANY DAYS SHE'S CRIED FOR YOU, MAYBE NOT OPENLY, BUT INWARDLY.... YES EVERY DAY.
Oh my darling, really Mr Death - why can't you have a name like Harry or Bob?
I BELIEVE YOU WERE BOB?
'That's just one of my names....' sorry. Hey! That's it.... Glycerine!!
Glycerine, by Bush, Gavin Rossdale.... oh what's the point... it's a rock band and one of the most famous songs by them.... Sixteen Stone album... it's what I want to say to Pol, other than what I have been trying to get through to her the last 24 hours or so
What the last 24 hours or in the song? Well the song kind of is the message I want to get to her, the last 24 hours is a) making up for any time I didn't say it when we were together, and b) a few to tide her over until I can say it again in person... or spirit... or whatever we both will be when she dies.
AH, MESSAGES THROUGH SONGS, YES. I BELIEVE, ALTHOUGH YOU WOULDN'T HAVE KNOWN, THAT YOUR FRIEND, I BELIEVE HER HANDLE IS 'MAGENTA' HAS SENT SOME RECORDINGS OF YOU SINGING/PLAYING AND ONE OF THEM IS GLYCERINE. THAT MAY BE COMFORTING TO 'POL'. AND WHY DO YOU CALL HER POL WHEN HER NAME IS PAULA?
Well that's the nickname all her best friends, and she always said I was her best friend, called her. I also called her 'Woman', 'Slave' ... I regret that, she wasn't a slave and she knew it I hope, and 'Woman-type object' but that was a little joke between us... both because she used to 'moan' about being called "woman" and because of the programme 'Firefly' we used to watch together. But I'd like just 2 seconds of time more to call her 'My darling' once more. I didn't do that nearly enough, but she was. She was everything to me.
I KNOW, AND YOU TO HER, WHICH IS WHY WHEN SHE WRITES THIS STORY SHE'LL CRY, AND CRY SOME MORE, AND LOOK AT PHOTOGRAPHS AND CRY MORE. BUT HOPEFULLY THE PHOTOGRAPHS WILL MAKE HER LAUGH TOO, YOU WERE A VERY AMUSING PERSON JOEL MILBURN.
Ah that was just part of me, but we had fun together so yes, I hope she remembers the good times more than the bad, and above all, I hope she remembers I love her. That's why I kept saying it. Wish I had said it to Mam and Dad and Sophie more too, but they know too. Hey, can spirits cry cuz I'm feeling rather weepy now. Oh to go back and undo all the bad I may have done...
YOU DON'T NEED TO, THOSE THAT PASS ON, MOSTLY, SEEM TO BE FORGIVEN EVERYTHING. THE BAD IS FORGOTTEN IN TIME, AND ONLY GOOD MEMORIES REMAIN. WHICH IS MY HOPE FOR YOUR WIFE.
Meaning what? She always said she'd live in a mud hut or a ditch if it was with me.
NO, I MEANT ERADICATING THE LAST 24 HOURS, OTHER THAN YOUR CONFESSING EVERY 2 SECONDS YOUR UNDYING LOVE FOR HER THAT IS. I THINK THAT MUCH SUNK IN, OR IT WILL, ONCE HER PAIN SUBSIDES A BIT.
Oh well, I hope she remembers the Monday more, I was a bit mental, but that was me most of the time, but in a nice hour or however long it was she was unhappy and wanted a cuddle so we asked a nurse if we could snuggle on the bed, she was afraid the bed would collapse if both of us were on there, and I held her tight and kissed her tears away and told her that I love her, always would, would always be there for her and about all the things we'd do when I got out of this place.... kinda difficult now. Well some of it I can do. I can watch over her and protect her I guess, and I will never stop loving her, I couldn't if I tried. Like that song 'Could not change tho I wanted to' well in this case it would be 'Could not change and DON'T want to' when it comes to loving my darling wife.
I BELIEVE YOU WERE HANDFASTED?
Yeah, by one of our best friends, someone dear enough to be considered a sister to me, Gill
INDEED AND LIKE YOUR WIFE INTENDED, THE WORDS 'TILL DEATH (HOW I HATE THAT, IT'S NOT ME THAT PARTS YOU) DO US PART' WERE OMITTED IN BOTH CEREMONIES? THAT MEANS PRESUMABLY THAT AT SOME POINT, YOU WILL BE TOGETHER AGAIN....
I can only hope... well, I can hear choirs of angels, so presumably I'm ALLOWED in Heaven should I choose to wander that way... Hi Peter...(he waves nonchalantly at SAINT Peter like he's an old friend, St. Peter just tries to suppress a grin and shakes his head as if to say 'what ARE we gonna do with this one?!') Oh Pur-lease play some DECENT music... someone pass me that Fender Strat.... plekkie someone.... "Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's dooo-ooo-orrrr...."...............
I'LL LEAVE YOU TO IT....
Paula here: I've spent most of the day travelling to, from or helping in the garden at Auntie Pauline's in Teeside. I only felt down when I checked my watch and noticed the date....it all kicked in again. All the hurt, the pain, the knowing he's not here. And I've just had a bit cry while writing this but then re-read it and laughed so it's all good... I'm remembering and laughing! AND..... it's pouring it down!! Joel showering his love on us... he really does (if you believe in that sort of thing) ... get his messages through to us!!
|Do you think the Devil will let me visit occasionally?? Don't wanna stay there, just go down for the rock gigs. OH I IMAGINE YOU MIGHT BE ALLOWED TO, YOU HAVE A CERTAIN DEVILMENT ABOUT YOU AT TIMES, said Death....|
Chat to you all tomorrow!