Dad died 14 days ago. I keep thinking it’s only been a week.
I tried to write about it for weeks, the inevitability of it. I have unpublished posts filled with grief, anger, and anxiety. He was a difficult man and hard to know. Though he was materially generous, his heart went unspoken; his mien did not encourage empathy. As his children, our relationships with him were complex and often frustrating.
But we loved him, too, so dearly. For all his faults (and mine, for I have many) he was a good father and a good man. He was strong. My mother created our world, but my father was its foundation. His presence was essential and understood. The last two weeks have been filled with distraction but, in moments, I have the curious sensation the floor has dropped out beneath me.
The last ten years were hard on him. Mom died (tomorrow marks a decade) and it was a loss from which he would never fully recover. A series of health problems, bad doctors, chronic pain and depression followed, slowly stealing his mobility and damping his sense of humour. His final struggle was with a cancer that made it almost impossible to swallow, which seemed especially hard, since food was his last real pleasure. At the end he was tired and painfully thin. He was ready and we who loved him could not wish anything other than an end to his suffering.
We were with him. I’m glad of that.
Now we are without him.