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  • Writer's pictureGerald Tindal

Day 28: Departures and disbelief

Updated: Sep 18, 2018

KT Man,

The days are still awfully tough. So much grief that won’t leave and the night turning to day with the disbelief that you’ve departed our life. The disbelief turns into the same nightmare that settles into a quiet resolve for the day, slightly out of focus but always on the side.

Yesterday was the day of transitions in reverse of everyone coming into our life to celebrate your life. The past 4 weeks has been a steady, sturdy, stream of being with people who care, who speak with experience: Their lives have been punctured by something as horrific as ours and the loss of a loved one. Others have come to just sit with us, speak of you, know life will move on with you in all of our lives, and also be silent. This steady stream was beautifully transformed into your celebration of life on Sunday. What a beautiful gathering to be remembered for the ages and for all of us.

One by one, now, people are leaving. They’re going back to work, to school, to play, to live, as they must. Close friends of yours and ours are managing the hard journey back. To pick up the swing of their life that will now remember you in everyday conversations, when gathering with their families and friends. How would KT have done it? What would KT have said? These questions also rest with a slight disbelief that hopefully can extinguish and reach resolve as days move into months and into years.

For the past 4 weeks, our home has been base camp for the emotional journey of grief and love without understanding. With the turbulence of so much action, we adopted ways of coping: guards for controlling the spill over when a Bull Terrier charges with so much love and affection that standing in defense is not an option. We followed schedules for opening the day quietly with guests in every corner of the house and doors opening and closing without clicks. We adopted strategies for choosing the front door or the back door, depending upon the movement inside or out. We managed running water so the well would serve cooking and cleaning with so many people and events. Everything was managed well and our home was a reassuring base camp.

During the departures, we saw family and dear friends leave. For Linda, their way points were California. For us, it was the Midwest. For Madison, Las Vegas. Their departures were regulated by their count and managed by their schedule. Of course, kids were on hand to level all regulations as irrelevant. In playing through their departures, the kids were oblivious to the reason and gravity of the story behind the journey. With Murphy-like abandon, they played, made up voices for cars, events, dolls, soldiers, space aliens, or any inanimate object available. The boys especially, crashed cars with abandon not realizing the twisted irony of this. Always ending with a sound less ominous but a reminder nevertheless. I tried to teach them to weave their cars between the isles of openings but they preferred to run into them. I only wish I could have succeeded with this huge and important lesson in life for them and for you.

Today is none of that. We awoke to silence and no guards, no gates for the massive Murphy to contain his charge. No schedules of quietness. The doors were all open, the bed rooms made up for guests but no guests. The kitchen was clean. The living room empty. The office was an office again. The sounds are now just Linda and me as we move quietly about in far less interesting ways but with more room for just being quiet with you and this troublesome disbelief. We don’t know how to move forward but will somehow.

Dad Man

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