In our previous post we suggested that Jim Perrin might not have been with our sister on Tuesday, May 10th, the day before she died. What other circumstance, we wonder, could have caused him to have written of the last day of her life so dismissively — in so far as it was, for all his pathos, entirely imagined. ‘By the next afternoon [the Tuesday in question] she was scarcely coherent.’ We knew that Jac was being given morphine to alleviate her pain but she was, and quite contrary to what Jim Perrin so dishonestly wrote, sufficiently ‘coherent’ to make a phone call herself to her daughter that same afternoon, when they shared their last conversation…
Later our niece told us Jac, in their conversation, had said Jim Perrin was not there with her at the hospital — and so jealously did he guard the time he chose to spend with her, so controlling was he to the last, he would not have countenanced any phone call had he been there. (And when her daughter had visited Jac he pressured her to leave each time the visit to her mother coincided with his own. She was terribly hurt by this and given the gravity of Jac’s condition and her own youth, and the particularly strong and loving bond between them, we think Jim Perrin’s behaviour was — as so often — indefensible.)
We wrote in a recent post that ‘something has been perplexing us’ and ever since our sister died we have had a vague and unsettling sense of uncertainty about the events of that day. However, a thought, only recently occurring to us and filtered — as it were — through the memories and the ‘re-living’ of that time, has enabled us at last to identify the cause of our long unease.
In earlier postings on the subject we have at least taken Jim Perrin’s word that he was with Jac on the day of Tuesday, May 10th, which, as time drew on, was to be the last evening of her life: although, it is understandable, we blamed him for leaving her so early — as we thought then that he had done.
We never discussed it with him; the details which he later described in West we knew to be untrue — but we had not, before, even questioned whether he had been with Jac at all, that day.
There are several anomalies — of which the following is only one: clearly Jim Perrin realised at that time how seriously ill Jac was — he wrote of it in his book, albeit entirely untruthfully — yet, deliberately, he gave her sisters (who lived hundreds of miles away) no hint of impending urgency. To our ears there is something which does not chime true. Continue reading
It is one of the finer traits of human-kind to trust and to place confidence in those whom we love or admire and mentors for example, ideally, should have the utmost integrity, their position of ‘power’ never exploited or abused. Cynicism is not naturally a predominant human characteristic and those of a trusting nature may readily, yet unwittingly, fall under the flattering ‘charming’ spell of a subtle and experienced practitioner; one whose flaws of character could lead to a betrayal of their trust.
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Jim Perrin, we know, has led people to trust him and to believe in him. But we wonder whether the fact that his writing is, in some quarters, well-regarded (although, by contrast, the phrase: ‘he’s a purple-prose merchant of a high order’ has been used… ) should override the many grave failings in the character of the man? — character failings which for years (and decades) have been by some only too well known but which are, at last, now coming to light. Continue reading