I don't even really know what to say.
I re-read the beginning of my last post, where I said that Brian apparently, 'was not dead and sounded OK'. Only now I know that actually, he was dead. My mother called me Friday morning, having spoken to him on Thursday - he was having a heart attack right around the time we spoke.
Everything always happens when my mother goes away. My grandmother's stroke, 9/11, the death of Diana, my grandmother's death and now Brian's. I should've known it would happen this week, just because she wasn't there. (You may assume I'm kidding; I'm really not. Anything bad happens, she's away on holiday. Bizarre but true.)
So anyway. Brian was never my father. I never let him be and he never tried. I actively fought against it, in fact, and he used to hate it when I was a kid and used the 'You're not my father!' line on him. We often didn't get on very well. He could be unbearably childish and bitchy - he once measured the distance between my drum stool and my bed, to prove I never moved it and therefore, never practiced - we would fight at times and sometimes bad enough that he'd leave the house, declaring he'd come back whenever she (me) wasn't there. But he was always the person I'd ask if there was something practical that needed doing. He's lugged my stuff around more times than I can count, always getting nominated to help me move house - and I've done that a lot. In recent years, we've been mates, allies under siege from my mother. And Evie adored him, and he adored her. Right from the off, I had her call him Grandad Brian - I've never seen anyone so good with little kids in my life. I have no idea how I'm going to explain this to her; she talks about him every single day.
I can't help feeling that he didn't deserve to go this way. His daughter hasn't talked to him in years - since he broke up with his wife, nearly twenty five years ago. He didn't leave her to be with my mother - that was just the straw that broke the camel's back, I think, because his marriage had been ropey for years. But his daughter never forgave him. He didn't see his son for nearly ten years, I think, but they've been in regular contact since then. Brian's car was always breaking down and his boy's a mechanic and would see to it. But he didn't see him before he died. I hope it's because Harvey didn't expect him to die. I really hope that, and not that he just didn't care enough to make the effort. The only times I've ever seen Brian close to choking up is when he'd talk about his kids.
He always got on brilliantly with my sister. And I'm glad that she's been over this week and they got to see each other. There's that. I just can't stop thinking about how my mother knew he was ill, took him into hospital last Sunday, and then went off to Wales to see her sister. She tried talking to him a few times, it's true, and the nurses wouldn't/couldn't put her through to him - but she only got to speak to him once. No one was there and he died on his own. A massive heart attack on Friday morning, a couple of hours before Harvey was supposed to show up and talk to the doctor.
I've always felt he was a lonely sort of man. It's been years and years since he and my mother have been anything close to being in love. They just put up with each other out of convenience, and a shared circle of casual friends. But they were still together for twenty six years. He's been a presence in my life since I was five years old. I can't get my head around him not being here any more.
This isn't going to be a good week. Mother wasn't there when he died so someone, presumably Harvey, has taken the matter in hand. We don't know where his body is, or if there were any arrangements for a funeral in his will, or when or where it'll be if there were. There's a chance no one will be in touch with mother at all; she might not even get to say goodbye. He has family in Birmingham that she's met a few times, so hopefully they'll keep her in the loop when they find out. She's got in contact with some bereavement office, who might be able to find out where he is. Failing that, she'll just have to hope his son recognises there was a twenty-six year relationship there, and does the right thing.
I don't know what to think, or what to say. No one should die alone. No one deserves that.