Tomorrow we bury my Da, who passed away in his sleep last Saturday. When I found out about his death I crumpled into Eric’s arms, sobs sent my kids running towards us to find out what was wrong, their sobs followed. I want to eulogize him in writing but not tonight, tonight I prepare for tomorrow.
After much discussion Eric and I decided our daughter, Aisleen, should come home with me, while we would have loved for everyone to be here logistics and finances made that impossible but this decision, to bring Aisleen, was good. My Da belonged to a family of women–he was raised by a single mother, he married into a family that had four girls, he and my Nana had two daughters, they each had a daughter, our Liam was the first son in our family for generations. Da, along with my Uncle and Eric, have been men amongst strong, independent women and each thrives. I think that shows their profound respect for women, and their devotion to the women they love. So it’s good, I think, for all of us to be surrounding Da tomorrow.
It’s been healing to be home, wrapped in the nurturing love of family, laughing, remembering, knowing we were so blessed to have had Da’s unconditional love. We wanted it longer, and I don’t feel selfish for wanting that. I’d love to be happy with exactly the time I’ve been given but, right now, I’m not, I wanted him to be with us longer, wanted to hear him laugh more, wanted to hug him more, wanted to see the way he looked at my Nana more because it was a thing of beauty.
I have found solace and catharsis in my early evening runs since I’ve been home, running through the rain, the chill, the beauty of the changing leaves. Minnesota in Fall is something I’ve missed very much and I’m clinging to the healing power my solo runs along the trails, lined with trees of orange and red, are bringing to me. I’ve kept it together for the most part during the day, and I’ve cried on the trails because running, for me, is primal and everything comes to the surface so I can run it off, tiny piece by tiny piece. I know it will take a lot of runs before I can go without tears and I’m okay with that.
Tomorrow I will do my best to hold myself together during the reading I’m doing at Da’s funeral, and I will do my best to comfort my Nana. And, when I get home on Sunday, I will crumple back into Eric’s arms and be grateful for his love, as I always am, and know that it’s safe to collapse again.