Father to Ashes, Dad to Dust
May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Dealing with my father’s death since two weeks ago has been crushing, painful, and cataclysmic on my young psyche. As mentioned to my widowed mother, there has undoubtedly been a significant chunk of my substance ripped from the core that keeps yours truly in any kind of motion and stability. This has left me weak in the knees. My voice no longer carries a tune in the car as well as it did before. My back gives out easier. Hell, it turns out I have developed some serious acid reflux that prevents sleep in the first 30-45 minutes of laying down at night. My body can tell its mental counterpart is suffering and is clearly demonstrating a type of solidarity.
But I am done searching the words to represent how unhinged I have become due to the events on May 9, 2011 locking in place at 7:10 A.M. and spilling out all that was meant to happen. Coming and going as only a brief image in my head, the one fact I cannot come to peaceful terms with is my dad’s cremation. My mother asked me about a week ago if I wanted to know when my father would be cremated. I told her, “No,” with a stern shaking of my head. I do not want to imagine his body being engulfed in flames – his skin boiling and splitting apart like an overcooked hot dog; the 200+ lb. body that I knew as Daddy becoming no more than three to five pounds of cool cinders. There is no gentle, family-friendly version of cremation that people can imagine their loved ones undergoing. It’s brutal. It’s destruction of the receptacle. Not only do I imagine the fire, but I imagine his bones becoming pulverized after they have cooled off and all of the flesh and blood has melted away.
Alas, the cliché is proving to be correct. Time is healing. I’m adapting. I’m becoming used to the silence where a blaring television in compliance with deaf ears once took its place. I’m no longer expecting to see him when I walk in the door from a long day at work. Instead of fumbling for pajama pants in the dark, I know I can run to the bathroom at 2:00 A.M. wearing panties and a t-shirt without worrying if my dad’s still awake. But today, the adaptation has momentarily dwindled. The time that was supposedly healing all along has perhaps only given me time to prepare for a mental breakdown.
After arriving home from a terrible day away from the house, my mother informs me that Dad was cremated at noon today.
I lose it.