By the time I’ve finished typing this my ever-so-logical father will be gone.
He had an awful childhood but, within the constraints of his emotionally-stunted upbringing, he was a kind and always helpful person. Expressing affection was impossible for him, but he had a sharp sense of humor and an amazing intellect fed by an insatiable appetite for non-fiction books. I can’t ever recall him hugging me or telling me that be loved me, but the stiff upper lip of the Englishmen of his generation is legendary. I can’t blame him for it.
He collapsed in the kitchen and his partner found him a few minutes later. He was already in cardiac arrest, his third and final heart attack. The emergency services talked his partner through resuscitation until the ambulance arrived. According to the nurse in ICU, his heart was already too damaged to sustain life and they only kept him on life support long enough for family to say their goodbyes to my unconscious dad.
I was supposed to call him yesterday evening but the reminder on the phone went off when I was away from home and I forgot about it by the time I got back. At 1am this morning, I got The Phone Call. Too late now, SD…
My father the logician had no interest in deep feelings or sentiment. He planned for no funeral and for his body to go to science. When he sent me copies of this material some years ago with a Living Will, I called and explained to him that a funeral wasn’t for *him* (as he wasn’t religious) but for the people left behind. This had never occurred to him before. At the moment, I don’t know if he updated the paperwork or not. So I don’t know yet if I’ll be on a plane to Australia in a few days.
This hasn’t fully sunk in yet and I’ve been busy tracking down my outback brother and other family, so I’m still able to write about it in a detached way. Don’t expect anything so lucid tomorrow… I can feel it welling up but have it under control just for now. Just barely.
Good night, treasure your family moments, and don’t forget to make that phone call you’ve been putting for a while…