Six years

Dad -

I didn't really call you that while you were alive, and it feels strange to call you that now, but I didn't know any other way to start this letter.

I've become a person who grumbles at roadside memorials for victims of traffic accidents but who writes something about you every year on the anniversary of your death. I wondered about that for a number of years before I realized that I was closer to your death than I was to your life, and I've spent the years since trying to come to terms with your absence.

This entry covers it better than most:

personal eye

We joke about people being married to their jobs, but the numbers in my own life tell quite a tale. A typical workday sees me awake for 17 hours. I spend nine of those with co-workers. Since Jeff and I keep slightly different work schedules, I only see him for about five hours per weekday.

The jokes become less comfortable when you realize that you're spending more hours per day with your co-workers than you do with the person you married. Co-workers don't have the same commitment to permanence that spouses do; they are people you spend time with, but not people you share everything with. I marvel at how few people find this strange or unusual.

Paint it black

Loss came through tweets and emails, a drip of information at a time. First a note from a tech staffer saying that someone had died, with a pointer to more information, including the name.

I saw it at work, and I wondered who it would be, whose name had to take on a different status. Death is so final it seems that we should all be able to feel it when it happens, to know that something is missing that wasn't missing ten minutes ago. But it's not like that. We have to be told, and for me it was via email.

death beat me to this door

He was a man unmet to me, but not to you.I'd toyed with the idea of saving up, of crossing the ocean sometime later this year or early next year, of seeing that great grand Ireland and meeting the two of you for a cup of tea somewhere so that I could marvel at how far you'd come.

For we haven't talked much lately, what with you off emerald-isleing and me turning librarian…

…and his death beat me to this door.

all tags: 

good-penny friend

I had intended a post today of laughter and anticipation and find myself trying to write one of solace.Geof's sister-in-law Cindy died last night unexpectedly. They had very little warning.

Not that any amount of warning is ever enough.

ø (empty set)

I don't have a pretty run-in for you here, or a way to lace together these words in a way that has meaning or resonance. In the end, they're just words, the words of someone who is up at one in the morning and who is thinking through keystrokes instead of being asleep, like she should be.

Father's Day.