My dad passed away at 6:07 last Sunday morning, Dec 8th. I didn't post about it here because... I don't really know. I guess I needed time to let it sink in. Plus the funeral was Thursday, so most of this week has been planning and executing the funeral. I got back home from my hometown a few hours ago. Sunday night I was sitting at the supper table just thinking and I wrote down my thoughts, which centered around the song "My Father's Chair" by Rick Springfield. Then I went to bed.
The next morning my mother read what I had written and asked me about the song when I woke up, so I found a recording of it on YouTube. She decided that she wanted the song included in the funeral, so I bought it on iTunes and had my wife burn a few copies of it to CDs while we were at the mortuary planning the funeral. The song wound up being included in the funeral, and it really sounded great on the Church's PA system (reminder to self, buy a church).
The hardest part of the whole ordeal was watching them close the casket, knowing this would be the last time I would ever see my father again. I'm an atheist, so my beliefs are when you die, you go back to the same state you were in before you were born. So I have no illusions that I'll meet him again when I die. So for me, I know this is the last time I will ever see my father. That was really hard, but it is what it is. I loved my dad. He loved me. I tried to spend as much time as possible with him since his diagnosis almost two years ago (lung cancer) because I knew once he was gone I wouldn't be seeing him again. My conscience is clear. I achieved what I set out to do, spend as much time with dad as I could. And, even though I couldn't be with him in his final hours, mom had told him that I wished I was there and that I loved him. I don't think I could have watched him take his last breath anyway. But I know that, thanks to lack of oxygen, everybody gets a really nice "dream" at the end. I hope his was brilliant.
I'll always love my dad, and I won't forget him until I reach my final moments. Until then, I'll try to be there for my mother as much as possible, but my life's kind of been on hold for the past two years. It's time to get down to business and start living for myself a little too. I think that dad would approve.