And In The End


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.

No answer.

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.

Slow.

Down.

Breathe.

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.

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2 comments
  1. Moon Over Martinborough said:

    Thank you for this post. I was in New Zealand when I received a phone call from my sister in Michigan about my father, who had collapsed getting out of the shower. It’s never easy. I still miss him.

  2. Eddie said:

    When I look back it’s less shocking and more remarkable how much my life has changed, his death being just woven into the fabric of it all.

    I miss him because I would have liked him to see where I am now in life, and, especially, for him to see his grandchildren.

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