Today I’m tired.
I drove for nine hours yesterday, and was on the road for a total of 14. Nine days ago, Dad was still breathing. The next day we drove to my parents’ place. Day two of this new world without Dad had us out, speaking to someone about his cell phone plan and stopping by his work. I made preliminary notifications of Dad’s death and slept very little. Day three, we went to the bank and after I finished the preliminary notifications I wrote an e-mail notification. That night we sorted the pantry and the fridge until we ran out of easy things to sort. We went through his closet, dropped off things to donate, recycled old electronics, and then laid low on day four. On Sunday we went to church and had a nice breakfast out before our little memorial. After that was over we all rested and watched an animated movie about friendship. Monday, C & I got Mom’s oil changed and tires rotated on the way the furniture store where we inquired about repairs. A week after he had died I took everything I’d written down about Dad’s life the previous day, and I used it to write his obituary.
Now I feel like a shell washed up on the beach. I feel rubbed smooth and bleached by unknown forces much larger and more powerful than I comprehend. I think I am different compared to what I used to be, but I don’t know how and I can’t envision what that might mean.
I do still feel sad. My pain has become an ache that I live with happily. It is the signpost of love and appreciation for what family has to give.