Saturday, 25 February 2017

It happened

The day after my last post, hurting heart, I lost my dad.

I've been with my family since and it's funny it didn't feel real. At all.

Last time I saw him he rushed downstairs without his stick because he thought I was going to leave without saying goodbye. I told him off.

A week later he was bedridden.

A week after that his mum said goodbye.

5 days after that, the day before I was due to see him and two days before his own siblings were due to say goodbye, he was gone.

I totally got the best out of all of this.

I got to spend a week with him (I had an abscess and couldn't travel) when it should only have been a weekend. I only remember him as upright and smiling. I didn't see him fade away, although I saw him getting shakier and falling, so I knew it was coming. And he wrote me the letter I begged him for.

I haven't read that letter yet.

We went to see him yesterday, laid out in the chapel of rest.

I was scared. So scared. I spent so much time not believing it - thinking he was away on a marking trip or off on holiday with one of his friends. I thought it was all a bad, bad joke. I thought seeing him would force me to believe it.

And it did.

And didn't.

He looked like he was pretending to be asleep. He looked like he was on the verge of smiling; as though he'd gotten the joke before any of us. I told him a whole bunch of stuff. I waited for him to look at me with that expression that says "now you're just being silly."

It didn't happen. So I told him the stuff I thought he'd want to know about, like who was coming to see him and the flowers and inconsequential things. And when I planned to read the letter.

I touched his sleeve and his jacket lapel and it felt like he'd been outside in winter. I told him more stuff and then I kissed his forehead and that was when I knew he'd never answer back.

But dammit, I'm going to keep talking.