One week of writing
Bit by little bit. I add words like pearls (or something less precious) on a string.
It will be six weeks tomorrow since my father died. It was almost unimaginable in the first days after he died that I would never see him again. That part hasn't changed. There are moments when the pain of it clutches at me like a cold hand inside me. It seems for just a moment completely unbearable.
But it isn't. It's bearable. Days pass and then after that more days. Now it's weeks. It feels like a betrayal of love to survive when one's beloved dies. I've done it before. Five years ago this week I discovered a dear friend had died. He was young though not even forty and my father would have been ninety-two next week. So apples, oranges. My father lived a good long life. Raised children and stayed married to the woman he loved for sixty-four years. He woke my mother the night before he died to exclaim excitedly that he had won the lottery. They were going to be rich.
"Don't be silly," she told him, all annoyed to be woke up. "You didn't buy a ticket."
I think my father did win the lottery. There are few among us who die as rich as he did.
My friend, Nick, now five years dead, had nothing like that. He grew up broken and had no means to fix himself.
We sat with my father's body in the room in the assisted living home for four hours. It was a strange thing. I've never seen a dead body and was puzzled always by the habit of people have of kissing corpses and flinging themselves into graves. When my dog died I couldn't bear to have his body stay in my house. I rushed the burial. But when dad was there, none of us wanted him gone. We sat with him waiting for the cremation truck hoping it would not come quickly while knowing it had to come eventually.
No one ever found Nick's body. It's still out there somewhere. I have my theories and I've told them to the cops who used to come ask me questions every three months. And then six months. Then yearly. They'd ask if I had any clues. I'd suggest the two suicide notes and the missing gun were pretty good clues. Did he have enemies who might want him dead? Sure, but why would someone go to all that effort. They haven't called me in a bit.
So as terribly sad as I am. How much I miss my father. I cannot complain about it. There area many ways to go out of this world but quietly, gently with your wife and your daughter holding your hand. Having lived six years with your other daughter and having five grandchildren and a trove of memories. That's not bad.