Interim Post – floating home

Dad died and maybe it’s been about a month. I don’t remember the date. Now that I think about it, that seems like a failure. A “D” grade. How could I forget the death date? But I have been finding myself edging away from thinking about him and his death.

People talk to me about him and they say things like, “Isn’t it nice that he is resting now? He suffered for a long time.” And it is.

They say, “He really didn’t have much to live for any more. He couldn’t walk, talk, interact much.” And he didn’t.

Dad died about a month ago but Friday was the first time I said the words just so. My poor friend stuck her foot in it and I cringed for her. “How are your parents doing?!” she asked almost aglow. My parents brought that out in people. Good will and community. There was that moment when I wanted to protect her from Dad’s death and Mom’s isolation. But the knowledge grabbed me like a great wind and threw me up against it’s rocky finality. I looked her straight in the eye and responded, like I was gripping my seat in a Boeing 747 going down.

“Dad is dead.”

“He died about a month ago. And Mom is in an assisted living. She’s doing well, thanks.”

I hadn’t said those words out loud till then, to that unsuspecting kind face. Why hadn’t I? Dad is dead.

On Dad’s last night, Mom leaned over his face. (When Dad aged his bones seemed to protrude looking almost like a steering wheel, and the rest of his face sunk inward.) Mom pulled on his bones, trying to make eye contact. Dad had a hard time turning his head. She was crying. “You’ll always be my prince, Rob. You are a prince.” And Mom wasn’t glad for him to leave.

Even now, looking it up feels too tiring. Just when did Dad die? I don’t remember the date. Dad died about a month ago. And this month, has been full of work, and family, and wading through COVID-19. Dad’s ashes are sitting at the funeral home waiting to be buried whenever we are allowed to do it in person. People keep asking when the memorial is. And time is filling in the space between him and I. A foam. A retardant.

Telling my friend, saying the words, cleaned out some of the space. I had been, in general, fine over the past weeks; well cushioned and buoyed. Now, not as much. And I find that although it frightens me, and although thinking about Dad makes me feel unprotected and vulnerable to those somewhat odd congratulations on his death, contrasting with the apologies of others, although all this, the water I am in feels mostly like it is carrying me home.

This post is an interim post. I’ve not got selfcare tips to share. Just my journey. With you.

Keep on!

9 thoughts on “Interim Post – floating home

  1. This was beautiful. It could have come from inside my own heart – my own dad died of similar circumstances (dependent, ill) less than a week ago, but how you put it into words, I can’t (yet). You touched something in me. This is how I currently feel.

    I can’t write like you did here. Apt, poignant. Maybe I need some more time to process before the words will flow again.

    My condolences. ❤

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I miss my dad too. Like you I still don’t remember the date. Maybe we don’t need to remember that date, it’s just a number. Let’s focus on the date of reuniting!! That’s what I CANNOT wait for. Is to see my sweet Father’s face, both of them! Love you Sana!

  3. To grieve amidst this chaos must be surreal and disorienting. I’m a bit ashamed to admit, I hadn’t given any thought to what it must be like for those who have lost someone in the midst of a global crisis. My love to you and your family.

    The imagery of the water mostly carrying you home is very powerful. Water is often used to represent cycles of life, death, and rebirth. It’s the end of rivers and the beginning of journeys. Water is an in-between space. It was there at the beginning of all things when “darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen 1:2 KJV).

    Drifting on a current, heading mostly homeward, is a great description of going forward in the face of forces we cannot control. Wherever else we are going, we are still on a journey Home.

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