Monday, February 6, 2017


Saturday. The words by phone. The grief that ripped my heart wide open. The want of more--so much more to say, and the things to do. We had plans. We had plans. Renewed visits, crocheting and maybe twice a month. He was going to come over that Sunday. He'd been looking forward to it, messaging me in the preceding weeks. Then canceled from the hospital. Then, unexpectedly, gone.

Sunday. I went into his home--the first time ever. And that sank in. The boxes. The papers. The counters. The piles. She handed me the tote of yarn balls he himself was going to give me that day. It overwhelmed. And I felt buried. Buried by the overwhelm. Buried by the papers. Buried by the tasks upon me. Buried by grief.

I went to the hospital to the get last of his belongings. Opened the bag and sifted through--wallet, keys, cell phone, charger, watch. Oh, time. I turned away and mumbled thanks in tears.

I got his truck and sat in the place he parked it last. I looked out the window, this view, his last walk outside into an emergency room. I looked for him, fully knowing he was gone, imagining his walk in that day. And in there still, in a morgue. I held the steering wheel and drove away. Drove through the streets and the town that were familiar to him, listening for the call from my GPS to turn left, to turn right. This was his landscape.

Online, his face in the sidebar. The messages, silenced. Conversations over, to be buried in a feed flowing new. Feelings bubbling and my hand suppressing. Down, down, down.

Monday. The important calls and the overwhelm. A funeral home, the memories--old neighborhood, and the funeral home where my mom's services were held.
Tuesday. A cemetery. Grandparents' marker--name in bold across, and his flags placed out, where to dig new. I hadn't stood there since my mom died. I held my daughter's hand.
Wednesday. Gathering his belongings. Documents. Clothing. A drive home by the mountains. A heavy heart. The things that want to bubble up at an intersection.
Thursday. The funeral home to drop off the clothes. A long walk around the block. The memories calling and greeting and I want to go back. I want to go back. We drove to a bakery where I used to work. She got two donuts because she couldn't decide. A woman I used to work with was still there. Her hug spanned the years.
Friday. The viewing. The greetings. The resolve not to cry. Don't cry. Don't cry. His coworkers. His cousin. My cousin. My friends. Oh, my friends. Don't cry. I read the words out loud at the lectern. I folded the papers. I tucked them in his arm. Colored hearts with the names of the ones he's left behind, scattered across his chest. The cemetery. The service. Don't cry.

"Ashes to ashes ..."

The things that are buried. His stories. His voice. His touch. The birthdays. The holidays. The pecan pie after dinner conversations. The crochet dates. The Facebook messages. The laughs.

"Dust to dust ..."

They lowered the coffin. And with it, all the unanswered questions, the wondering, the what-ifs, the hopes. Buried.

Don't cry.

I pulled roses from the floral piece--three reds for three sisters, two whites for his loves, and a lily for the ones behind me. My sister and I tossed them in, and then we turned.

These days are ours now.

I didn't see full restoration with my dad, but maybe I'll see it in other places

Who knew the canyon's edge overlooked a grave?

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