Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ode to...Continued

Trying to deal with the death of my father at that point really couldn’t happen. My wife was there for me and I can’t imagine trying to get through this without her. As we stood there holding each other, letting the tears run down our cheeks, the nurse walked back into the room and handed us bag of my dads things. A credit card, a gift card we had given him, his membership card to Amvets post 103 and $92 in various bills. I figuratively had to sign his life away to get his things.

I needed to leave the cold cubicle of death as I felt uncomfortable just waiting there for my sister. As we stepped back out of the room, a police officer said he needed to talk to us before we leave but said it was no rush. Dealing with this sort of stuff was low on my list but I know it has to be done.

My sister showed up with my niece and nephew a few minutes later. They had been there for a while but some well-intentioned person sent them to the Chaplin instead of to the emergency room. We hugged, something my sister and I rarely do, and prepared to step into the room again. Her son and daughter didn’t want to step in and I don’t blame them. I didn’t really want them to see him with a tube down his throat and some contraption on his face. That doesn’t need to be one of the things they remember about him.

My wife, my sister and I held each other in a moment of confusion and disbelief as we looked down at our recently deceased father. The tears were back but easier to deal with. Everyone left in his immediate family consoled together. I’m not really sure I thought of anything other than the confusion I felt at that moment. What do we do now? What is our next step?

The hospital Chaplin told us everything that would be coming. We informed him which funeral home we wanted the body taken to and he gave us some idea as to what we needed to get through the first part of the process. After all of this was done, we met with the deputy coroner and finished our obligations at the hospital.

Mrs. PE and I chatted quietly as we headed to my dads house. We were all meeting there but my sister wasn’t there yet when we arrived so we headed to the club where he was the treasurer and, in general, the guy who kept it in business. The people were in shock as we explained that my father had passed.

My dad would show up at the club every morning at 5:30 to do his work and the two custodians would arrive by 6:00. On this morning, the lights were still off when the custodians arrived and they found my dad sitting on the floor. He never made it to the office and thus couldn’t reach a phone. They quickly called for an ambulance but it was mostly over by that time. He was in ventricular fibrillation by that time and all attempts by the paramedics came up short.

When my sister arrived at the house we started to go through his stuff. We found many of the documents would need in the weeks and months to come and we finally left to get some lunch. Lunch was on dad this day as it was many other times we were with him in the past. It was kind of strange spending his money but it will all end up with us anyway. A morbid thought but reality.

Eventually we met with the people at the funeral home and went through everything that will happen in the next couple of days. When it was all done I realized that being dead costs a lot of money and that I think I will try and get all of that stuff taken care of to make it easier on my children.

My sister and I said good bye for the day but we still have much more to go through before it is done.


Fuel55 said...

You know we are all behind you sir through these tough times.

Huntsvegas Poker said...

thoughts and prayers go out to you and yours bro...

Mondogarage said...

My thoughts go out to your entire family, PE. Be well.

Anonymous said...


I feel your loss

Donkette said...

My heart go out to you in your time of sorrow. Peace, prayers and blessings. I lost both of my parents at very young ages and what keeps me going is the memories we shared which helps to comfort me, they give me strength. May your memories give you the strength to help comfort you now and in the days ahead.

Mookie said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.