Friday, September 26, 2014

Bob's Memorial Service

Jim and Bob September 15, 2012
after they moved out of their doublewide into a temporary apartment in Lewes, before they moved into an assisted living facility

Well folks, I was hoping to speak at Bob's funeral but that's not going to happen.  That's because he's not going to have a funeral.  That's a shame because, to me, having a funeral service cathartic for the survivors.  Doesn't mean anything to the deceased of course but it is very helpful and necessary for the loved one's survivors to deal with their grief and to pay their respects.

Bob's friend Bart yesterday that informed me that Bob died this past Saturday night at a hospice center in Milford, Delaware.  Bob's  partner and spouse Jim was with him at the end.  I was so glad to hear that someone was with him at the end.  I can only hope I am that fortunate when my time comes, as it surely will someday.  Bart also told me that Bob's remains will be cremated and that he wanted his ashes interred at the Delaware Memorial Veteran's cemetery in Milford.  But there is a glitch, Jim wants Bob's ashes.  Bart said Bob's last wishes were that his ashes be interred at the Veterans' cemetery. That's Jim, possessive to the end.  This was always a problem I had with Jim, overly possessive but there are some spouses are that way.   They feel the need to keep their spouses on a short leash because of their insecurities. Thank God Bill isn't that way.  Let me say that again, THANK GOD!  I'm not that way with Bill either.  My father was that way, I understand even if I do think it is one of the most selfish things a partner can do. 

February 23, 2013 - Bob and Jim waiting for their daily prescription pill intake at the assisted care facility

So is Bob having a memorial service?  I received an e-mail from Bob's nephew and he said that the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church had scheduled a memorial service for this Friday, September 27th.  Jim wants it on a Saturday.  Thus the next date their pastor has available is October 25th, quite a distance down the road.  Jim's doing again.  I probably shouldn't be writing this (but this is my blog and I let it hang out, most of the time anyway), out of respect for Jim who did take good care of Bob during his long decline but I've always had a problem with Jim's possessiveness and lack of sensitivity to others in whatever respect.  I'm just expressing my gut feelings here, all right?  So many times he's done this.  And that's all I'm going to say about Jim.

Marsh 28, 2013 - me and Bob and Jim in the dining room of the assisted care facility where they were living

There is still no obituary in the local paper for Bob and I doubt if there ever will be.  I created a Find a Grave memorial for Bob.  I also notified Camp Rehoboth of Bob's passing and sent a wonderful photo of Bob, when he was at his most handsome before the long decline.

I guess that's about all I can do.  I would have liked to say something to Bob's friends at a service but that doesn't look like it's going to happen which is a shame.  

June 28, 2013 - Jim, me and Bob at the assisted living facility in Lewes where they were residing

I just got an e-mail from Bob's nephew. Bob's memorial service will be Saturday, October 25th at 11 AM.

I don't know if I'll attend.  Maybe I will, maybe I won't.  I'll have to see how I feel at that time. I'm very disappointed that it is so far out. 


WARPed said...


SInce you are so eloquently verbose and loquacious, perhaps you could write a letter to the editor about Bob's passing, or even just a little classified as saying the likes of, "Bob McC, you will be missed!"

Might ruffle some feathers, but so what?



Jack said...

It's funny how people are. My first thought about Jim wanting to keep Bob's ashes was that he didn't want to let go but it certainly is important to abide by the deceased's wishes whenever possible. A solution for the Jim/Bob situation would be for Jim to get a small container and keep some of the ashes. If he wants to keep the ashes because of control issues, well there isn't much that can be done about that. I kept my mother's ashes for 3 months before I had the opportunity to get back to Florida to bury them with my father's. I had a hard time letting go of the ashes until the day of the interment and realized they were just ashes, the memories and love was in my heart, not my hands. After that realization it was easy to let go and bury them.
We did not have a funeral but a memorial service for both of my parents and with the exception that there was no casket present the service was held in a church within five days of death. The memorial/going home/funeral service still accomplishes the same thing, it gives the family and friends the opportunity to say goodbye. I agree that the date for Bob's service almost makes it a moot point, by that time other things will come up especially for casual friends and a lot of people will simply feel like you do and just not attend. Jim/Bob's situation is an important reminder to us that OUR wishes should be made known and hopefully followed.
Again, sorry for your loss and all of the disappointment it has caused.

Ron said...

I'm surprised but not surprised at this development with services for Bob. All during Bob's time with Jim, Jim has exercised total control, always (from my viewpoint anyway) with only his interest. I wish I could say otherwise, but there are just too many occasions when I (and others) have been so frustrated and disappointed at his myopia. I know other people like Jim. As I said, my father was like that. Same with my niece. She was such a control person that she eventually drove her husband, a very good man, away from her. Of course she is single now (no surprise, who could put up with that kind of control? I also have a longtime good friend whose wife is like that.
This is such a disappointment but I am going to put this behind me and just think of the good memories I had of Bob, of which many years were before Jim.
Thank you for your sincere condolences.

Ron said...

Good suggestion. I just might do that, contact the local paper and ask if I could write an obituary for Bob.

Raybeard said...

The experience of a dear one's passing is so intense that one just wants the whole business to be done and over with (since there's no alternative), leaving poignant memories to be mulled over at will. To prolong it (needlessly?) seems to be guaranteed to cause further pain and cause nerves to be on edge for the whole interim period before one can close on it. But if that's what his nearest wants.........
My condolences once more.

Ron said...

I wish the memorial service was sooner but it is what it is to use a tired old overused cliche. I wasn't going to go but I think I will just to put closure to this whole business. Thank you again for your condolences.

Ur-spo said...

How sad
I feel the living need closure of some sort; ritual is vital. There needs to be some sort of individual or collective farewell when someone dies. I hope you find one, either with the others or on your own.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
You understand. I know some (Bill) don't see the need for the ritual of a funeral but I do. It is exactly as you say, closure. A collective farewell. I feel cheated but at the same time I feel guilty for expressing my feelings for MY need to have closure. I may just make one of my own. I've already done that with these two blog postings. A memorial service is schedule but at the end of next month but I fear that will be the "church" thing for members only and I would feel like an interloper. Again, I feel guilty for saying this but all during Bob's life with his partner, our friendship was restricted (very) by his (the partner's) possessiveness. I thought at least at Bob's death he would loosen his grip but that apparently is not going to happen. Yes, it is sad. And I'm not the only one who feels this way.