I should have written you earlier this week, and I’ve been reminding myself and carrying a card around for a few days looking for time. Turns out it really wouldn’t have mattered if I got that letter out first thing Monday or not; you died this morning or last night — I’m not quite sure which. I hope it was quietly in your sleep without fear or pain or stress.
That letter that I didn’t write would have been in transit during the holiday season. I can’t quite imagine that it would have gotten to you yesterday, and I am sure it would have made my sister sad to see it arrive tomorrow. Maybe it is all just as well.
I feel numb today. Stunned. Even though I expected this; there’s a time when you know it is coming because someone keeps getting ill, and that’s been you these past few months. I am glad you hung on so that I could visit you one last time before the holidays. I sent you a holiday card right before Christmas — surely that arrived within the past few days.
This has been the strangest New Year’s Day. Walking in a dream. Between the reality that was yesterday, and the one I face tomorrow.
Losing a parent is hard. With the second one, you know you are looking mortality right in the face, and it smirks at you and says, “You’re next.” I can’t even muster a reaction to that today.
Goodbye, Dad. You will always be my Dad. And I will always love you because you’re my Dad. Now that you are gone, I can look back at what was the last good day, maybe a year and a half ago or longer, in the spring, when you were awake and lively and talkative, and I took you out into the garden. I remember the next day you were conked out and I couldn’t wake you to eat lunch or even say goodbye to me. I realized that moment was precious when it happened. I hoped there would be another. We are out of moments.
And I am sad.
I love you Dad.