So, yeah.. Context on that...
(as with my last entry, this will be fairly limited in scope. I can't talk about everything all at once, and you wouldn't want to wade through it if I could.)
- My father died on Sunday. Out of nowhere, completely without warning. He walked out of the doctor's office with a clean bill of health not a week prior. There was no accident, no disease, no act of violence. Nobody to blame, no chance to say goodbye. One minute, there. The next, not so much. He would have turned 60 a week from today.
He was at the theatre with my mom and two friends. They had just seen a play by Tom Stoppard (one of his favorite authors), and were on their way to the car to head off to another play. The group noticed that he had fallen behind, and turned back to see ushers running in the direction they had come from. Someone had apparently fallen down. Paramedics arrived within five minutes, but were not able to revive him on the scene, in the ambulance, or at the hospital. He was dead when he hit the ground, but it's nice that they kept trying. Their success would have brought me great joy. Had I known, anyway. We can add suspense to the list of things that should have been a part of this (and with it, hope). He was pronounced dead by the time we answered the phone.
Again, he enjoyed the play, lived through the ending, had a nice lunch beforehand, and spent his last hours among friends and family. It was a graceful death, the kind everyone hopes for if they give it any thought at all. The rest of us just need time to adjust.
Sunday night, as word spread, friends of the family started dropping by unexpectedly. Dad would have been mortified to know we were entertaining guests with the house this messy, but I go back to the "no warning" thing. A few days notice would have killed him?
Also on Sunday, the American Red Cross called to ask for his eyes. They were very pushy and insistant, which they'd obviously have to be given the window of opportunity on such a thing. But, he wanted to remain intact, and this truly was the worst possible time to ask us, so we said no. They called back in the morning to see if we'd changed our minds. Again with the no.
I showed up briefly at work on Monday to make sure someone could finish what I was working on. That was a million years ago - I no longer care about any of that. Probably best that I took care of it while I did.
From there, I sat at my computer and tried not to think about it. Accomplished quite a lot there - there's no better time to tackle a problem than when you desperately need to get lost in your work. You're just motivated to see it through, y'know?
But accomplishing things, it turns out, was the wrong move if the goal is denial. Because, then I want to show him what I've done, and I can't, 'cause he's dead. And that's particularly bad because I've been fighting this urge for months, maybe years. He's seen me struggle, but never knew the details. I was waiting for something big to happen, to overwhelm him with pride. I shouldn't have held off for that. It was selfish and short-sighted. I'd give anything to jump timelines and handle that differently.
So, that put a damper on my productivity. I've since spent time with old friends, helped out with domestic chores, and read the new Harry Potter book from cover to cover. Just trying to re-establish what normal feels like, I guess.
People tell me I have a very good attitude about this, but they can only react to what I show 'em. I don't think my attitude's particularly healthy at all - until I see the body, he's just in the next room, listening to books-on-tape and typing away at his e-mail. Why would anyone want to believe otherwise?
That all falls apart at the funeral Thursday, and I'm not looking forward to it.