It took me a while to really get into Six Feet Under, but eventually I was hooked. Each episode was riveting, but one thing I remember most is that while watching one Sunday evening it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t ready for the death of someone very close to me.
This realization came to me very clearly.
The next day — a muggy, rainy August Monday — I got a call from my mom around 11:30 am. She was worried because she couldn’t find my dad. The lights were off in the house and his car was in the driveway.
And the bathroom door was locked.
While I stayed on the line, I told her to first knock on the door; when there was no response to her knock, I told her to call the police. I stayed on the phone even as the police arrived and called out to my dad.
I told my mom to allow the police to break down the door. When they did, I heard my mom screaming, and it was at that exact moment that my life took a very strange and unexpected turn.
I write this now — almost 5 years later — seemingly casually, but the reality is that, looking back, that moment — that scream and the realization that came with it — was the turning point, the moment where everything I thought was changed.
After I hung up I raced through the house to grab keys, wallet… close the windows… where are my fucking keys? …
Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck…
I was about halfway to my mom’s when I was suddenly very calm, and everything seemed to.
It wasn’t until much later — much, much later — that I really felt grief. And it’s only recently that I’ve started to think of death as more of a state that is simply what this body becomes, like rock becomes sand or ice becomes water.
It’s all… part of the plan.