Friday, October 21, 2011

You. Us. Dad.

There are times when we go through events that are so mundane, they defy words.  There's just no reason to waste perfectly formed syllables on such trivial (mis)fortunes, as the case may be.

And then a September 25th arrives.  A single moment in time that appears and stays locked immemorial.  On that day, that moment (4:07 to be exact) changes everything.  Things you don't realize. Ways that haven't yet materialized.  And then others that are immediate in their sharpness and clarity.

I hope to talk about those moments as the days are quickly becoming weeks.  These will not be chronological, but emotional.  As the well overflows, whatever is floating at the top will naturally end up here.  Perhaps in my constant quest to document life, the full story will eventually emerge.  I have to say, I haven't written anything else here since the funeral simply because I didn't think it right to jump back into the normalcy of life.  Even though that "normalcy" is certainly swirling around us.  I had to start with something about him and then go on with the stuff you'd expect.

In the past weeks, I am particularly struck by how others are reacting to the death of my father.  I have my own patented response, but others' reactions are just as fascinating to me.  There's "caught-in-the-hall-thinking-of-you" or the "sit-down-and-share-my-story."  And then there's this hand that slips under your elbow.  Casual.  Easy. Yet strong enough to lift you off your feet.  It's a book of poetry that helped the giver through their loss accompanied by a note written deep from the heart.  Or the executive who stops to scratch below the facade of rote responses and in the process offer amazing advice on allowing for grief without guilt during the joy of upcoming holidays.

Do you know what kind of man my dad was?  In the final hours we had with him after counseling and praying with those who stopped by (and recording that video), he mentioned off-handedly to Jaime and me:

"Now, in my library there's a book called Good Grief.  It will take you through the five stages of grieving.  You'll need to read that book."

"Really, Dad?  You're still working?  Even now?"

He never stopped.  Loving.  Caring.