Sunday, February 21, 2016


It's been almost four months since I lost my Dad unexpectedly, to a heart attack.

I had to count that on my hands. If you told me it was two weeks ago, I might believe you.

This might be the last time I write on this blog. I had thought I might not ever write on it again, until I thought about the post I wrote about Dad two and a half years ago, on his 64th birthday. I came here and read it, and then it felt wrong just to up and leave this thing of which he is a part. Right now, my life feels divided into two parts: life with Dad, and life without him. This blog crosses over. I know there are lots of things that cross over. I cross over. But I have changed. So have all of the other things that come to mind. His and Mum's house. His and Mum's car. Mum. The whole world. Maybe it's because he never read this blog, except for that one post, which my sister forwarded to him. He printed it out and took it everywhere with him for a little while afterward. Mum would report to me on his latest "victim"; someone on whom it would be thrust, many of whom, hilariously, cried - I'm not sure whether that was a natural response or the result of the pressure to respond in some way appropriate to his enthusiasm for it. They read it at the service they held for him at his work the week he died. I am so, so grateful he read it, even though I never meant him to. It made him happy. It changed the way I wrote to him in birthday cards afterwards, and bled into the way we spoke to each other. He knew, for certain, how I felt about him. I knew that how I felt about him made him happy. I will always be grateful to my sister (the same sister who told him about my atheism, and my first tattoo, with slightly different results) for it.

I usually say my Dad died. I say it because it's true. I understand people who prefer to say their person passed away; when I'm not sure, I use it to describe the losses of others. But my Dad didn't pass away. Although his face was serene, and when he came home for the week before we buried him, even relaxed into a smile which was inexplicable but also completely the opposite, Dad went out fighting to stay with us. He didn't pass - he was dragged from us, in that tired body with that sick heart. There was no peace in it. There is no peace in it. There is no euphemism that makes it any more right, any less true. He should be here. He should be here.

I am exhausted by his death. Even in the times when I'm not thinking about it, it's there; I can't escape it. Do I want to escape it? I can't even tell. When I look in the mirror, all I see is my own face, ageing. When I look out the window at the harbour, sometimes I see the water, and sometimes I see the little currents which he maintained were schools of fish. One day, M was going to catch one of those fish, for her Papa. Which is better? Which hurts more, and which hurts less? When I wake up in the morning, I wish I was still asleep. There is very little that, when I do it, I do not think about doing something else. Sometimes that's called distraction. This time, as with many other things I do, it's called depression. Would escaping his death mean running away from him? I suppose that's really what I want to know; what I'm really afraid of. Would not being depressed actually be any better?

This isn't finished. I didn't really know what I was going to say, except that my Dad died - and there's no end to that. Every day he is dead.

Maybe I will be back, if I think I can finish it.