a year ago

February 13, 2010

This time last year Katherine and I were getting ourselves ready to come home and bury Dad. I’ve been thinking about him more on the anniversary of this trip than I did on the anniversary of his death, which was just a couple weeks ago. It’s not surprising that it took coming home and being immersed in his after-life, to make his death real to me in a way it hadn’t been up to that point. Sadly, I was never as close to Dad as I was that week last year, which probably doesn’t sound that weird to anyone else who’s lost a parent.

As a rule, I’ve not speculated a lot on what exactly happened to Dad. It was a fire. He was found kneeling by his bed with his arms folded over the top of the mattress and his head laying face down in them. His cell phone was on the floor. His dog on the rug beside him. The coroner had Kath identify the tattoos on Dad’s arm via a photo and you can see the redness of burnt skin on the side of his chest. Nothing good in any of that to speculate on.

But this morning, when I was just half awake and the sun wasn’t up yet, I got filled with a kind of palpable imagining of him waking up to a dark room so full of smoke that he couldn’t see and reaching out for the phone, but knocking it off the table. I could feel the fear and confusion, and the disbelief he must have felt, even if only for a split second, when he realized that he wasn’t going to make it.

No Comments »

leave a reply