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Daddy died this morning at 7:42 am, though I expect the official time of death will be a half-hour later or so. His granddaughter Sara was with him, having arrived back at the care center at 7:15 am. His daughter Sue (my sister) had been there through the night until 5:45 am, then went home to Lansing.

Sara was holding his hand and singing to him as he went. She's been the wife of a funeral director for 4 years now. The experience and knowledge gained through that served her remarkably well this morning. It's all been emotionally huge, of course. Grandpa Fitz has been the rock of our entire family for all of our lives.

Sara called Sue and then called me while Sue was calling our preferred funeral home. (No arrangements had been made, and it's been 23 years since Royal Funeral Home in Battle Creek did such a wonderful job with Grandma Dorothy, but they're on it and that's excellent.) I was still on the phone with her when staff at the care center came into the room, learned the situation, and did the official bits -- checking his blood pressure; listening to his heart; um, confirming with Sara that yes, he has a pacemaker, asking what kind it was; and so on.

My day has been understandably grief-filled and fragmented. Words can't begin to describe how wonderful and comforting it was to have Unca Fred and Gavi here to hold onto, to be with. I've done various things that needed doing at various times. I've been as gentle with myself as I possibly can be. I've cried, I've laughed, we've shared stories, and the agonizing minutes kept passing by as my body kept physically reminding me that it's profoundly upset with the world.

It took hours longer than I hoped, but we were finally out the door to buy food and such, both because the fridge was darned near as empty as it was when I cleaned it out after the June 1 tornado and because there's this hurricane coming. Water softener salt and other non-food necessities didn't get purchased tonight; getting home sooner seemed more advisable than pushing things later and later. Besides, my body's pretty much give out.

Fred drove, another blessing. Speaking of that, while arrangements are still in the "being made" part of the process, we expect the funeral to be next Saturday afternoon in Battle Creek. fredcritter is going to give me a ride there, and carnyjack will give me a ride back to Toad Woods, leaving the day after the service. He was already planning on coming here then, so everything is working out beautifully transportation-wise. I totally knew I wasn't driving myself to or from my father's funeral. No way; no how.

batwrangler is going to come down and stay at Toad Woods over the weekend. Despite all the useful advice to the contrary, Daddy's cats Tilly and Jinx came to Massachusetts with me on Thursday. They did surprisingly well on the 822-mile drive, and seem to be adjusting well through the early days of their being here. It's still all very weird and uncertain, of course. batwrangler is the very best animal person I know. She'll be good company for them during most of the time I'll be gone. If need be, I can ask my neighbor to check on them during the time before she gets here. I don't have to figure that out now.

kaffyr reminded me that I don't have to know right now how I'm going to survive in a world where my Daddy isn't here. I only needed to get through today, through the right now. Hearing that was useful beyond measure. I'd called Ben early on. He checked in on me, and I should touch base with him again soon and also go spend more time with the cats before I turn in for the night.

I mostly stayed off the phone, and offline. Sue and I talked a handful of times. I called a couple of relatives and Daddy's friends. I wish I'd talked with Sara again, and Leslie and Anne (her Mom and sister). I only managed one email note back to all of them in response to one Anne sent. Mostly, I just plain got through the day. Win.

That hurricane that's coming? All the water it sheds are the world's tears over Daddy's death, it's the world shedding my tears, and the tears of all who knew him. Just as there simply aren't that many boxes to ever have enough to pack up all of the belongings that need packing in his home, there aren't enough tears, there isn't enough music, laughter, stories, and joy to do justice to his memory. But a hurricane's worth will be a good start.

Daddy was a rock in all the best senses of the word. He was a fabulous father, an outstanding friend, and the very best person I've ever known. Look in your mirror, consider all of the company I'm so very fortunate to keep. Yes, he really was that good and then some. It's 11:59; the day is about to turn. Oops, it just did. Must post now.

Comments

( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
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holyoutlaw
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:16 am (UTC)
Even though completely expected, this is still sad news. My condolences to you and all.
replyhazy
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:20 am (UTC)
So sorry -- an irreparable loss. ::hugs::
ckd
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
One step at a time. Thinking of you and sending you love.
quarkwiz
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
I am so sorry.

...and this was a very touching piece of writing.
jennlk
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
I have no words.

my sympathy and condolences to you and your family. {hug}
sdn
Aug. 28th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
Oh, love to you. ::hugs::
(Deleted comment)
fmsv
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:13 am (UTC)
My condolences, and my best wishes to you in dealing with the next few days and beyond.
pnh
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
I wondered what was happening. I've been intermittently thinking of you all day.

Very sorry you're going through this. Very glad the rest of us live in a world that has you in it.

paradoox
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:54 am (UTC)
*hugs*
Thinking of you. Hang in there. It will get better.
maruad
Aug. 28th, 2011 05:57 am (UTC)
My condolences on your loss. It is hard but it will get better.
lsanderson
Aug. 28th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
Condolences
My condolences.
nellorat
Aug. 28th, 2011 08:40 am (UTC)
Condolences, sympathies. In the months ahead, you'll find the grief ebbing and flowing in totally unpredictable ways, because that's just how it is. I'm glad you're being kind to yourself & encourage yourself to continue that.
ceemage
Aug. 28th, 2011 09:03 am (UTC)
Condolences, and lots of internet *hugs* if required.
supergee
Aug. 28th, 2011 09:59 am (UTC)
Condolences.
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( 52 comments — Leave a comment )

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