It’s been ten days since Dad died. Many people have expressed their condolences to me. No doubt many more have done so to Mom and my siblings.
Yet we’re all pretty dry eyed and matter of fact about it – at least in my company. We Wood’s are famously even tempered but this is our father, for god’s sake!
So I’ve been thinking about why. ‘He had a good life.’ ‘He was ready.’ ‘He had been in a long decline and wasn’t really who he had been for a long time.’
That last is kind of my best answer. He really died a long time ago. The weird part is that it wasn’t a clearly defined event like last week. The breathing stops, the heart stops – he’s dead.
But that begs the question of who ‘he’ is. Preparing for the funeral, Tom created a slideshow for people to watch. We started with 20 or 30 pictures but it quickly grew to nearly 100. That was Tuesday. As of yesterday, it was up to nearer 150. We’ll probably keep working on it right up to when we have to leave for the church Monday.
What was interesting to me was that the exercise brought back into my mind the man who raised me – without doubt the most influential man in my life. Over the last four years that man has slowly slipped away.
I can’t help but contrast Dad’s death with the death of Zach. Two people who were as close to me as anyone could be and yet my reactions couldn’t have been more different. The circumstances were vastly different, of course, so that must be why.
The time that has passed since Zach’s death has muted my feelings. Life goes on. I still get angry about the actions of the two drivers and will approach the DA once more about reopening the case. But the overwhelming sadness that I felt for months afterwards hasn’t shown up for Dad.
The funeral is Monday. We’ll see how that goes.