Today is April 8th.
Today is marks the point, exactly three quarters of of my life ago. The day my dad died.
I was sitting on the rocking chair, the chair I still have today. It used to face the front door. I was sat there when my mum walked in and told me the news.
He’d been in and out of hospital for almost a year. This was one of those few times I’d waited at home when she went to see him. Usually I’d be farmed out to someone else’s house, a friends or neighbour. Maybe this time there wasn’t time to make arrangements, I don’t remember. I know she got there too late. I guess the hospital had called and she’d had to rush out.
I was sat facing the front door waiting for her to get back.
I knew from her face. Hot tears ran instinctually. Incessantly.
I kept thinking over, I don’t understand. How can a person stop being? I don’t understand.
She told me not to be sad. He had been so ill. To want him to carry on living was to want him to go on suffering. It was a release. A great release. He was in a better place now.
Such an overwhelm. Yes, he wasn’t ill now. And he wasn’t here. And he wasn’t angry and shouting and so full of fury. He wasn’t drunk and dangerous. He wasn’t threatening, he wasn’t all the excuses why. All the reasons. He wasn’t my dad. He just wasn’t.
He wasn’t here. And he wasn’t coming back.
And I didn’t understand how someone could just stop being. Stop being at all, forever. How does this happen?
I still don’t know.