Watercolor and gouache on board, by JD. My father died in January, as peacefully as he and we could have hoped. No lingering illness preceded his death, only a gentle decline. Sitting in his favorite chair, watching a football game on a Sunday afternoon, he had a stroke, slumped down, and passed from this life. The abruptness of his departure left us bereft. The shock was profound, first for my dear stepmother, Jane, suddenly his widow who had to cope most immediately with the event. But also for his children, stepchildren, extended family and friends. Across generations and connections, we all felt the loss. My father had been a big man, a benevolent patriarch. He was capacious in his ability to hold us all in his view, aware of our identities and foibles as well as our individual roles within that complex system that was the family. His knowing us and seeing us gave the family and larger community a coherence that could not be replaced.
What an amazing testament to your father and a beautiful narrative in its own right. I'm thankful to get a glimpse into the person he was.
Reading this again. What beautiful story and tribute to the great man your father was.
So beautiful! It is in such moments that we realize the power of everyday objects to tie us to others. It brings to mind this wonderful book by Lydia Flem, "How I emptied my parent's house" https://www.amazon.com/Final-Reminder-Emptied-Parents-House/dp/0285637347/