One has only to read so far as page 6 of West to come upon these virulent words. We quote them in full for those who have not read Jim Perrin’s book:
There was nothing to detain me in the caravan by the stream where she and I had mostly lived for the last eighteen months.* To continue there was clearly going to become increasingly difficult and inconvenient as well as painful, for pathological savagery circles after a death, breeding in families, seeking a focus and seeking a target, the guilt of those who neglected and exploited and abused fixing invariably post mortem on those who cared for and provided.
Autonomous human love is always a threat to those whose claims on affection are based not on right behaviour but through propinquity. In the aftermath of a death, the close and caring bereaved are often made homeless, their joint belongings pillaged, whilst the erstwhile-negligent blood-tied ones are emotionally and materialistically merciless in their reappropriations of the deceased.
And, on page 271, the author is describing the day following our sister’s death — after, he wrote, he had been ‘shopping in Sainsbury’s’! (That emphasis, and the capitals below, are ours.)
Back at the house and caravan when I returned, the dismantling and appropriation had begun. EVEN FROM THE SHRINE IN THE CARAVAN THINGS HAD DISAPPEARED.
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Surely, any rational person reading these words must reach the conclusion they express pure malicious fury and are typical of Jim Perrin at his most malignant. We are quite certain it is so.
He wrote in a letter to our sister — of his own interpretation of their failing relationship: ‘A shrink would have a field day with this’. We rather think that ‘a shrink would have a field day’ with the passages just quoted.
But: the facts are otherwise…
On May 11th when our sister had only just died our family were gathered in a side room in the hospital. Within minutes Jim Perrin told us that he intended to place Jac’s ashes in the garden alongside those as yet unburied of his son, Will. This, he said, ‘was what she would have wanted — to be with [his son].’
Shocked and amazed that he should even be discussing such a thing, so soon after our sister had died and while she lay close-by in the room next door, for a moment we were silenced in our distress. However, rallying, we explained to him that we knew for certain that she had always said that she wished her ashes to be spread in the sea. Although he demurred yet we prevailed.
* * * * *
It is particularly interesting that this statement was in direct conflict with comments he had written in two of his letters to her only months before when she was staying, ill and weakened, with her sister in Yorkshire. To illustrate the incongruity we will show them here:
1) Clearly I should not have moved into [your house]. Even if nothing else does, the visceral and instinctive reluctance I feel at putting Will’s ashes into this earth tells me that.
2) … and I want to lay Will’s ashes to rest in some good, peaceful, honest ground.
It was not the truth, as his words in the hospital later proved. Those sentences were written deliberately to wound her: it was his sole intent. Let there be no illusion. Jim Perrin is capable of the most subtle and exceptional mental cruelty. (Many of those who have contacted us have told us of their own frightening experiences with him.) As we have said already, these words were written to Jac when she was in Yorkshire, terribly frail during the on-going sessions of her chemotherapy — and with only months of life remaining. How could he have written to her in that way? It was a quite appalling thing to do and the action of an incredibly heartless man.
Our main point is that his ‘statement of intent’ in the hospital indicated quite clearly (and quite contrary to what he written so hurtfully when she was alive) that he had every intention of staying in the house; that he expected to be in control of the situation; and that he was planning to bury our sister’s ashes — had her family not vehemently refused — in the garden of that house, beside those of his son.
* * * * *
His accusation, for that is what it is, that he was stolen from, is absolutely without foundation — indeed Jac’s ‘Welsh’ sister had to speak to him most strongly in order to get him to RETURN items belonging to the family which he had taken from the house in the ‘to and fro’ of his removal.
His almost incoherent rage that his plan to stay at the house — to take over the tenancy from our sister’s children — was foiled, has finally worked through and by black alchemy has resulted in these most vengeful passages.
* * * * *
Jac’s home is a very ‘desirable residence’ — in the wilds of lovely moorland, miles away from the stresses of town life, and we quite understand why Jim Perrin, who had been there for eighteen months (and apart from being hidden from the Child Maintenance Service) would wish to continue to live there. He had laid his plans to do so, as we have shown in an earlier post: ref. Overheard, but to set about it as he did, to attempt to take over the tenancy (by telling Jac’s children that it had been her dying wish that he should do so) was nothing but a cynical ploy and profoundly dishonest: when his strategem failed he told her ‘Welsh’ sister of his intentions; he had arranged to go firstly to Ireland to stay with a former lover, and thence to the French Pyrénées.
He seemed to have accepted that, after all, he could not stay at the house and he arranged to take away his things in due course.
We have described elsewhere how, when he first moved to our sister’s home he brought furniture etc. from his previous house. He took to the tip our sister’s bed, her sofa and chairs, her freezer and her tumble-drier — to name only the larger pieces, and replaced them with things from the house he had sold.
When he realised that after all he could no longer stay he packed, and took his things — including the freezer full of food. While we do not judge him in the least for taking away what was his own, it may be imagined how empty the house at first seemed — as he had destroyed so much that had belonged to our sister when he moved there.
His possessions were not ‘pillaged’ as he wrote: he took them away with the help of a friend, David Beattie, (roughly breaking a window frame in the course of the removal) as well as helping himself to several items which belonged to the family.
And as for his ‘carefully’ worded — ‘even from the shrine’ — calculated to induce in his readers shock and distaste at the implied violation — he was referring to a shelf in the caravan where he had placed a photograph of his son and a beautiful Buddha with tea-lights around. Of course, there was no desecration of ‘the shrine’! Nothing, absolutely nothing, was touched, interfered with, or in any way disturbed; neither ‘the shrine’ nor anything at all in the caravan… His imagination again runs riot — it is yet another flight of fancy, another ridiculously malevolent accusation.
* * * * *
We can only suppose Jim Perrin’s plan was to write in this way so that people would take pity on him ‘for the traumas he had endured’ and support him; and would think the worst of us — Jac’s family. Undoubtedly as we were quite unknown until we began to make our record as jacssisters in great part he succeeded; and he is so entirely plausible…
It is just very silly and it hardly needs saying (but we will, again) that it is all absolutely without foundation: Jim Perrin’s malice is palpable.
* The real reason that Jim Perrin had ‘Nothing to detain him’ was, that due to his behaviour to their mother — and to them, both before and after her death, he had been asked by Jac’s children to leave the house. Not ‘the caravan where she and I had mostly lived.’ Such a story! He lived in the house until she died — indeed he had to a very great extent taken over and made it his own.
The irresistible ‘westward pull’ that he claimed to have felt — after being told he could no longer stay in our sister’s house! (ref. our post as above, ‘Overheard’); this ‘to go West was to follow her’ etc. etc., (page 6 of West) — this whole wonderful, yearning journey, was in reality the result of the pragmatic decision taken to go to the West coast of Ireland and to stay with a former lover (whom he later described at length, graphically and unflatteringly, in his book). We believe Jim Perrin to be entirely without pity, and completely ruthless, and that to describe him as a cad is an altogether too generous description of his character…