Monday, March 05, 2012

Still in the Dead Dad Club

Tomorrow, it will be three years since I joined the Dead Dad Club. I found the post that I wrote a few days after he died and I'm amazed at my ability to think clearly enough to at least try to express my thoughts and feelings in words. The day he died and the ones that followed are all a blur to me now. I was in pain and I relied heavily on friends to continue breathing in and out after my dad stopped.

Reading that post made me think about where I am today with dealing with his death. Well, he's still dead and, to paraphrase George O'Malley, I still have trouble "existing in a world where he doesn't."  My dad and I only saw each other a couple times a year and spoke on the phone every couple of weeks, but I always knew he was there. And now he's not.

But then again, he sort of is.

He's there every time I make coffee and pour the first, very strong cup. I hear his voice saying, "That coffee will set you free!" and laughing like he was saying this "hysterical" line for the very first time and not the five hundredth.

He's there when I wear the hiking boots he left at my house the winter before he died. He told me not to bother shipping them back to him since he had no need for winter boots in Florida. He said that he would use them the following winter when he came for a visit. There never was another visit so I wear the boots with an extra pair of socks and feel like he's walking with me.

He's there when I hear sound bites from the Republican presidential primary candidates. I hear him dismissing them with a bunch of swears preceding "conservative crackpots." 

He's there when I hear Simon and Garfunkel or Jim Croce...or see a springer spaniel...or read a good deal on Craiglist...or breathe.

I miss you, Dad.


  1. Ok, you made me cry at 730 am! I've been a member for 9 years in april. I wear my dads cowboy boots and hear him say "that'll put hair on your chest" as he tasted his latest concoction. Wish I could say it gets easier. Really it just feels farther away. Virtual hug- beautiful entry.

  2. I used to think MS was the best club I never wanted to join but I'm starting to think the Dead Dad Club has some pretty cool members too. The admission fees are astronomical, though. :-(

  3. I joined in 1999. Two more years and I become a "Gold Card" member.
    It does get easier--slightly. But I still wear my "WWDD" (What-Would-Dad-Do) bracelet.

    Great post!

  4. Thanks for commiserating. I get a lot of comfort from the words of other club members. Your response made me realize that, as a parent, I often have to look at my invisible tattoo: "Don't do what mom and dad did." I'm grateful that, in the years before he died, I got to hear my sober dad tell me how he felt about the mistakes he made as a parent when I was growing up and that he loved me and was proud of me. Bittersweet since it makes me miss him that much more.

  5. I don't know how long it will be before I, too, can become an august member of your club... But lemme tell ya, watching my dad's slow inevitable decline as he struggles w/multiple chronic health issues & worst of all, dementia, is agonizing!
    I have pledged my life to relieving animal suffering, & yet I feel pretty much powerless to help him. This is a road he must travel for the most part, completely alone.
    But I send all of you my deepest sympathy - I know Dad's only true, final release will be in death, but I'm not ready to lose him (yet).

  6. You haven't posted in awhile. I hope things are well with you.

  7. I am alive and very well. Thanks for missing me, Anonymous. I am drafting another imperfect post now. :-)