Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today Was the Hardest

We lost my darling dad on Sunday, the day I arrived. I sat with him for a while and told him how much I loved him, how grateful I am, and some of the things I'll remember about him. The funeral home came and got him shortly thereafter, and I kissed him goodbye. My mom's sister, my beloved Aunt Nasty, was here, plus all of her kids, and we drank margaritas and beer and told family stories and laughed and cried together.

Since then, I've been helping Mom with all sorts of random things (turning the compost heap, figuring out how the DVD player works [Husband is now laughing, imagining this, as the only person who knows less than Mom how a DVD player works is me], cleaning out cupboards). I also got sick right away, some sort of upper respiratory tract thing plus a raging yeast infection, and coupled with jet lag and grief, I felt like crap for the first three days. But I muscled through, crossing items off a never-ending list.

Today we planned nine errands for the morning, one of which was purchasing giant cinnamon rolls made by a nice Amish family. Mom said, "I guess we don't have to get the cinnamon rolls . . ." and I said, "Listen, after running all those errands, we will have cinnamon rolls, also mimosas." (We cleaned out the wine, champagne, and beer cupboards last night. Yes, there's a champagne cupboard. My parents' house is AWESOME. And they're also kinda hoarders.)

However. One of our errands was stopping by the funeral home to drop off some clothes for Dad and give him the notes we'd written to tuck in his pocket. (Isn't that a nice idea?) The sweetie-pie funeral director told us that the cremation would happen this afternoon. We came home, and I finished editing his obituary and printed it . . . and then cried and cried. It is a freaking obituary. For my FATHER. Too too too sad.

And then a gorgeous package arrived from Boston, sent from Good Neighbor Anne and the Sleek Suburban Moms, full of delicious breakfast goods (so cool!!!!) and a lovely note, and that made my mom bawl. And then the mail came, and my dear friend J sent a card that made all of us bawl. (Our old friend B.B. stopped by and was having a mimosa with us; she had to pull out a handkerchief.) And knowing that the cremation was happening, that even though his soul has been gone for daysthese were the last moments of his body on this earth . . . it was just really, really hard.

We decided to get all the suck over with at once, so now we're going through boxes and albums of pictures, choosing ones for the memorial video. It's actually the funnest job she's assigned me so far, but it is a total sobfest. We lit candles, put "The Sammy Cahn Songbook" on the CD player, and are drinking our mimosas. 

I'm glad I'm here for my mom, but I HATE ALL OF THIS SO MUCH. Dad needs to stop being dead now and come back, because this freaking sucks. 

There's more to say, of course, but I need to get back to the photos. I just wanted to tell everyone the latest.

His passing was incredibly peaceful. He was a class act to the very end.

I cannot wrap my head around the idea of a world without Dad in it.

Thank you all so much for being there.

xox Lady C

14 comments:

  1. Thank God you were there and got to be with him as he traveled on. It means so much. And so much that you're there for your mom right now. I love the idea of the notes in his pocket!!! It sounds like you're all honoring his life and your love for him in all the best ways. I hope you'll let me see the obituary sometime. Meanwhile, please accept my condolences and love. -- SDF

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    1. I will absolutely share the obituary and some other things. You would have appreciated his CD collection! He loved musicals and Broadway scores. (Do you know "The Most Happy Fella"? It's rarely performed, but it was his favorite.) See you soon, my dear friend. xx

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  2. Oh sweetie. Words fail me. Am hugging you from afar.

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    1. Thanks, my angel. Are you still coming to visit me in July? Please come! We can sweat together and toast our dear departed dads. OMG how fun does that sound?? (ha) xx

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  3. I am so sorry. I'm glad you got there in time. xoxo

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  4. It does suck. Waking up in a world that does not have your Dad in it is so weird. And it sucks. Yes, it does.
    XO,
    Mrs. Cynicletary who loves you

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    1. Love you too, my darling dear friend. The flowers are beautiful and they smell so good!!

      No, I do not like this Dad-less world, not one bit. xx

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  5. I'm sorry you lost your dad! How good that you could be with him, and I'm sure you're a comfort to your mom. Hugs and vibes...

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  6. Oh my darling. At the reception preceding Craig's father's funeral, the body lay in state. It was not my place, so I said nothing, just held Craig's hand, hoping my touch would comfort, maybe just a little. But, as the crowd thinned down to family, Ricky came up to us and said, "So, what do you say we wake Granddad up so we can all go home?"

    So I'm here to promise you, at some time, in some alchemical way, your dad will come back. I don't know how, or when, but he will be there, always, when you need him. No, you can't see him, sit across the table and drink with him, and I'm sorry about that, but you haven't lost him. As long as there is a you, there will be a dad.

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    1. Yes, absolutely. And a church friend reminded me today that I can feel *all* my Dads close to me, not just the 80-year-old one, which was a lovely thought — the Dad of my 20s was especially delightful. Thank you for sending your own lovely thoughts to me. xx

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    2. I love that last bit -- about "all your dads"!!! I find that I'm really appreciating visits from my parents at all their ages lately.... -- SDF

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    3. I know, isn't that awesome? (The friend who said this is the one who directed the "Pride and Prejudice" you and I saw -- you'd love her)

      Thanks for your call -- I had my hands covered in frosting at that moment, but hearing your voice was very sweet.

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