‘He was a gentleman lawyer, schooled with a grace and elegance that was common with earlier generations of lawyers.’
That quote came from a former assistant prosecutor who tried cases against you, when you were a defense lawyer.
Another of your legal colleagues said, ‘He was a fine prosecutor, a fine lawyer, and a fine gentleman.’
I think you would be moved, as I was, to read the quotations from your former colleagues in yesterday’s paper. Clive found the article for me on the Internet. If I told you how nice it was, you would no doubt give me one of your characteristic shrugs and a concise sentence about each person quoted in it.
It’s almost all over now, Dad. That is, the main events surrounding your death are almost finished. Your grandson wrote and delivered the eulogy which your wife and others told me was ‘brilliant’ and moving. I read it after the service, and it filled me with love and pride for both of you.
Today, sometime after the sun rises in New Jersey, your wife’s sister will take her to collect your ashes. Your wife told me the urn she selected is a box with a carved golf scene on it. Well, it’s true you were a great golfer, Dad.
Dad, the Aussies say, ‘He had a good innings’. You did. You had a long and active life. Maybe later I’ll write about some of the difficult times, but not tonight in Sydney. The funeral days are over. But I know from experience, now the new reality begins, without you physically here, in all the ways we kept in touch in person and long-distance all my life.
Dad, you and I both know all the well-meaning expressions, some of which I’ve used myself in writing about you these past few days. He’s in a better place. (I think you are.) He’s at peace now. (That, too.) He’s no longer suffering. (That’s the one I believe the most.) You had really valuable, special time with him in September and October. (Yes, I did have the gift of that time with you.) And, unlike Rob and Gary’s deaths, yours is more in the natural order of things, the death of a parent at age 85. (In comparison to the other deaths, yes, this is true.) He had a good innings. (Yes, you did.)
I don’t mean to sound, or be, ungrateful, Dad. My son was seventeen when he lost his father. Clive’s daughter-in-law was only twelve when she lost her mother. I was so lucky to have you as long as I did.
But, the thing is, Dad, that for all people nowadays talk about a ‘celebration of life’ as opposed to ‘mourning a death,’ I mourn your death. You’re in my heart and always will be, but in this life, I will never see you alive again. Death is so desperately, totally, final. And I mourn yours.
Dad, thank you for everything and for being my father. I miss you.
Filed under: My Journey |