My father died Tuesday morning. It was very sudden and mostly quick and painless.
He was an amazing being, loving and kind, gracious and caring. He spent much of his life working to process and overcome a shit ton of trauma, to not carry it forward or pass it on to me and my sister.
He was an early adopter of the Dad Joke, was utterly clueless about 21st century technology (the VCR recording questions lasted well past the lifespan of the VCR), and could cook a mean turkey. He was an awesome dad. I knew I was loved from day one and every day afterwards. When he and my mum, Martha, got divorced he did the hard work of figuring out how to be a single parent when he barely knew how to be a person on his own. It was a mess, to be honest, and he never let go.
He got to be a dad again when he and my mom, Newelle, conspired to bring my sister, Kaelin, into the world. Watching his delight in getting to have a second chance at fatherhood, knowing all that he knew then, was wonderful. I’m so grateful he had both Newelle and Kaelin in his life. He lit up every time he talked about them.
He was my safe harbor in the years before my husband, Scott, came into my life and remained a touch point and home base for me. It’s hard to think of not calling him to talk about my day or bitch about this stupid cold, but he helped make sure I would be okay after he was gone. I hate that that day came so soon, and before I could get back to NY to hug him one more time, but its (mostly) ok.
As he loved to say:
“May you dwell in the heart.
May you be free from suffering.
May you be healed.
May you be at peace”