Me and my dad, when I was a few months old.
My niece and my dad, the day before he died.
My father died of pancreatic cancer 40 days ago, as many (most) of you know.
I am surprised how I kind of forget about it. His birthday was recent, and I spent a few moments debating with myself whether I should buy him a cutting board from my work. I had even calculated how much it would cost with my employee discount.
I am still surprised how easily he slipped away. I was right next to him. He didn’t gasp for air, there was no rattle. I only knew because his chest stopped rising and falling. It is the strangest thing in the world to check for a pulse and not find one.
I’m obviously glad that there wasn’t a struggle, but it’s weird that death is that subtle. I don’t know what I was expecting, trumpets or something?
It was also strange when his body had cooled down. I’ve never felt someone’s forehead be that cool. His favorite euphemism for “dead” was “room temperature.” It’s weird how I thought of that at a time like that.
Also weird: Holding his urn on the drive back from the mortuary. Thinking that it could not be my dad in that box.
(Also, I know you all mean well, but please no “take care of yourself” pep talks. I am, really.)