It’s been a little over a week since my father passed away. Died. Deceased. Gone. Nothing quiet captures the feeling of loss and simultaneous connectedness that you feel in these surreal moments. He is gone but here. Dead in flesh, visibly absent and yet alive in memories, photos, voicemails and a shooting star caught just as you were mentioning him. We are all stunned and saddened and grateful and blessed and confused all at the same time. But that’s life isn’t it? A big ol’ jumble of what-the-heck-is-going-on-ness. My father was constantly badgering me to write more, “write that book”, about what? I’d ask. About your life. So here’s the start. As I enter into a new chapter of my life, the one absent of parents…I think they call it adulthood.
There is an amazing perspective that shifts into place when you lose someone close to you. Days of the week hold no value, your world stops and yet the larger world spins on around you. Mail still comes. People still hustle to work and you’re sitting there as if on another plane of existence or planet looking in on the insanity of it all. It makes no sense. What’s it all about? Why the hustle? What’s the point if we all just end up slipping into the ether in the end?
Also, let it be said that after burying both of my parents, one who was gravely ill and one who was older and slowing down, it is always shocking. My brother died on a Friday morning at 27 years old and it was equally as shocking as when my 84 year old father with congestive heart failure took his last breath. Our people, our friends, our family members and fathers and brothers and mothers take up an enormous amount of space in our lives and hearts. They fill us with love and wholeness and you don’t even know how much is in there ’til it’s gone.
I started to write this to honor my father. To finally make the time to write like he said. To put words to the relationship we had and to celebrate the complex and inspiring man my father was but I’m still in the process of processing it all. I’m still mourning the life that we shared and the world without parents that I’m moving into. I remember when my brother died, my father painted all these crazy war death scenes that made everyone, including me, super uncomfortable. That was his process, paint it into sense even if everyone else thought he was cray cray…and I can respect that now as I’m four paragraphs in and haven’t said much other than WTF?! But I will bounce back, we always do and I will return with my generally positive love-of-life attitude with a side of snark shortly but for now, I’m still reeling in the reality of this thing we call life.