Hey, howzit going?
I’ve had a rough month. My stepdad died suddenly. It was crazy, I’m still trying to work it all out in my head. I just feel really confused about the whole thing, it doesn’t feel real.
My “real” dad is still alive. His name is Jimmy and we haven’t spoken for years because he’s a very very bad man. I never saw Jimmy as my real dad, he’s not my dad. I was forced to see him every 2nd week till I was 13, but then after that I never had to see him again. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to Jimmy. I would not have gone to his funeral.
But Keith, Keith was my stepdad who was always there for me. My parents got divorced when I was about 2 and then Keith came in to our lives when I was 4 and I always saw him as my dad. The point I am trying to make is, to me, Keith was my dad, and Jimmy is not. And for some reason, Keith had to pass away while Jimmy is still out there being an abusive drunk asshole.
Keith was always very supportive of my cartooning and he had an awesome sense of humour. When I was back in South Africa we started a little trophy business together. He would do all the hard stuff and I would just do the artwork. I worked with him since 2012. Even after I moved to the U.K I would continue to help out with the artwork and would talk to him every day on the phone. Just before Easter, he sent me an email that didn’t make much sense, so I called him to ask what he meant. He sounded very confused on the phone, so I called my mom to go check on him. He said he was fine, just a little tired, but said he really needs to drop off some trophies for his clients. Keith loved his clients and went way out of his way to keep them happy. My mom said she would drive him to drop off the trophies because he wasn’t looking himself. After they dropped off the last trophy, he said “You can take me to the hospital now.”
So she drove him to the hospital, the doctors didn’t know what was wrong, but decided to keep him over night. Big mistake…
It was Easter, so all the staff had fucked off to go on holiday, leaving the untrained shitty nurses to look after him. So that night, my mom gets a call from Keith, he was shouting “COME NOW, COME NOW.” That’s all he said. She raced over to the hospital but was told she wasn’t allowed in to see him. Eventually after causing a scene, she was allowed in. They had tied him to the bed because he was trying to leave. They decided to give him something to calm him down. He never woke up. He went into a coma and then on to a ventilator. I flew across from England when he went into hospital and when I got there he was attached to a ventilator breathing like a fish gasping for air. He looked in so much pain, his eyes were bulging and the ventilator mask was so tight it was ripping his nose off. He was still tied to the bed. The machines connected to him were flashing and beeping and the nurses didn’t care. I kept asking why the machines were making so much noise, and they shrugged and said “I will look now”. Eventually a nurse would come over and press some buttons and move some tubes and the beeping would stop. But why wait till I ask? Surely these machines beep for a reason.
We were taking shifts staying with Keith. By the time I had arrived they said he had a 5% chance of making it. Still they didn’t know what was wrong and had to do more tests. The next morning, he died. His body started shaking, his head looked like it was going to explode, and this black gunk started pouring out his mouth. They told us to leave the room and 2 minutes later they said he died.
It’s like a month later now, and still we don’t know what he died from. The death certificate says “Natural Causes”. This was not natural. How the fuck is being tied to the bed and injected with shit to put you to sleep, natural? He was well enough to get himself out of the bed and try to leave, so you inject him and he dies. And that’s natural causes? That’s fucking murder.
It’s impossible to get any answers. Also, all those tests they did, no answers. We get the bills for them, but no answers to what actually happened.
So, yeah. I’ve had a rough month. I don’t know what to believe, I don’t know what to think. It feels fake. I’ve always had trust issues, but now doctors and nurses have been added to my list of people I don’t trust.
It’s officially the longest I have gone without drawing in 7 years. I started drawing and making comics around 7 years ago and I had never gone more than a few days without doodling something. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to do with my cartooning. I moved to single panels and have gotten into some big publications. But I don’t really enjoy it. The stuff I enjoy making isn’t really magazine stuff.
I’m also having to help out more with the trophy place. I have to do the quoting and invoicing stuff and dealing with customers, which I hate. Keith was really good at it, he likes people.
I dunno, I’m confused. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like drawing. Luckily, I have a lot of stuff already drawn so I’ve been able to still sell cartoons while I’m not drawing. Here’s one that was in the latest issue of The Critic
I like The Critic coz I can do stuff in colour. I struggle with colour, so this forces me to try make more colourful stuff. Also, they do allow slightly ruder cartoons. This was cheesy, but a lot of places wouldn’t publish this cartoon 😅
Anyway, I don’t know what my plans are anymore. Everything that I was working on has now been put on hold while I try figure out what happened these last few weeks.