ok, so in re-reading my last two posts, i gotta say i'm not loving where this is going.
somehow, dad, i thought i'd always be able to keep this space all about you. yes, my presence, my signature sense of things, is allowable here, sure, but only as a medium to show people the kind of man you are (pre 9-11) / were (post 9-11). but it's weird, at least for me, how the "grief process" -- i still prefer the word "process" over "grief"; who wants to grieve? -- it somehow becomes more about me than you. how i'm feeling, what you meant to me as a dad, what it means to be here without you.
i remember when grandpa died, and i couldn't do a thing with or for myself -- no process, all grief. it wasn't cool, how i would spontaneously burst into silent, desperate tears when a tender thought of him crossed my heart -- but at least i didn't have to drag myself through the self-analysis that your death, or rather, my place in your death, seems to be bringing before me. they say you can't run grief's show.
well, dad, it was 2 months ago tonight that you breathed your last. hope it wasn't painful or too hard. seemed pretty workable to me, what your body was asking you to do as you passed. certainly, it was nothing like what life had asked of you in the weeks and months, maybe even years, leading up to your death. i remember i wrote that it was a gentle death, complete with your signature twinkle. it was also kinda open-minded, just like you...how you seemed gone, then you weren't, then maybe it's now, then i guess not yet....now? no, not just yet.....................the breaths kept coming, even when we thought surely this one was the last. even laura, our hospice nurse, waited five minutes to call your time of death because she wanted to be sure. your final breaths were, well, remarkably flexible. just like you. whew. people die the way they live, i've come to say.
sister cheryl was the one who checked in with me today. funny, how aware she seems to be of the dates and the times. and how clueless i am. she says it took her weeks to get through a saturday night without reliving pieces of your passing. me -- symbolic dates kinda sneak up on me, they're haphazard and arrive without fanfare. i'll be one of those post-stroke patients who is never fully oriented, no matter how much self-insight i display!
i hope cheryl never stops checking in on your anniversary dates.
well, dad, we miss you. that much is clear. and, as anxious as i am about being in a "good place" when we put your body to rest a week from monday, i am sure looking forward to experiencing the honor of your resting place. and seeing your beautiful flag-covered casket once again. you make me so proud. truly you do.
hope you're finding heaven to be as delightful a place as everyone envisions it to be.