Arrangements for my dad have been made. We're having the visitation on Wednesday night and the funeral on Thursday morning. Our funeral director is the same woman who handled my mom's funeral. She's pretty amazing. We asked her what she thought the cause of my dad's death might have been. Based on some physical signs, she was thinking a very quick, very massive heart attack. We'll never know for sure, but everyone who was involved, paramedics, etc. said that it appeared he died quickly without a struggle as he was still seated in the chair. Thank god for that.
Today, I was alone up at my dad's house and went into a cleaning frenzy, which turned into a raking and weeding frenzy. I had to stay in a frenzy because every time I stopped for a moment, I completely lost my mind with grief. When I couldn't clean, weed or rake any more, I sat in the glider on the back patio. It didn't take me long to realize that I was looking at the last view that my dad had of this world. The bridal wreath spirea is an explosion of white, the poppies are blooming in profusion, the spiderworts are starting to bloom. There was a very gentle wind moving the poppies around. In just a few minutes, I saw a robin, a crow and an eastern goldfinch and heard the songs of a few other birds. It was lovely. I am so sad that he is gone, but I'm happy that it happened in the home he and my mom built, surrounded by a beautiful day and beautiful sights and sounds.
I went back to the funeral home today by myself to spend some time with my dad alone. I really, really needed that. It helped calm me down a bit. I've been rushing around, working, talking to people and needed to just get grounded in the reality of this. My dad looked great for a dead guy, for which I was glad. I held his hand and said some things I've been meaning to say and found some peace.
One of the things I have to work on is a family eulogy of sorts. I wrote one when my mom died and volunteered to do one for my dad. This one is going to be harder. For a guy who worked hard and lived simply, my dad was a complex character. He got the best qualities from his mother and learned to do the opposite of much of the bad behavior his father modeled for him. (Sometime, I'll have to tell you about my grandfather, who was not the kindest person. He used to frequently tell my aunt that he wished he had drown her at birth. A real charmer.) He could be hard, stubborn and impossible and in the next moment you could see his softness through his humor and jovial nature. *sigh* Shit. I could be describing myself here. Better stop while I'm ahead.