Four hours until I see my dad again. He was always fairly expressive in the fact that he didn’t want anyone to view him after he died. But apparently, even though it’s been three weeks, he still looks immaculate. My sisters and I suspect it was the daily regime of 1L of gin per day that has allowed his miraculous preservation.
Apparently viewing the body is crucial to accepting and mourning someone’s death, which I’m obviously struggling with… So sorry dad. I know you said this viewing think wasn’t your shtick, but if you were that against it then maybe you should of stuck it out for longer. (Obvious example of my denial of the whole death thing).
Without rambling on anymore, here’s the speech I’m going to try and say with out falling into a puddle of tears. I reckon there’s a 50:50. Bets will be taken up until 2 minutes prior to my possible melt down. Speech goes as follows:
So at the time of writing this, I’m still at the stage of denial. I still feel weird about the sentiment all the flowers that garnish my house are supposedly representing. I went straight back to work the Monday after I found out the fact, which I had taken as a cruel rumour, and have done everything in my power to distract myself. At the point in which I read this, I doubt that this is still the case.
I loved my father dearly, everything I’ve done in life essentially was to in some way impress him like most children feel the overwhelming sense to accomplish. I’m going to quote Nicole Krauss in her book The History of Love, all though in its delivery my interpretation is different, upon reading it, I still felt it knot in my stomach.
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
The changes here being I loved my father, and it was his laughter that I’ve always spent my life trying to understand & learn from. His wit and his intelligence, his ability to turn a moment of boredom into a late night filled with laughter, epiphanies and wisdom.
I’ve received more than a few messages of condolence, I’ve since learnt stories about my father that I wasn’t aware of, great ones. Learnt about how many people whose lives he had made an impression on, all for the better. I also heard of what he would say to others about my sisters & I behind our backs. Terribly all positive, if only to make my denial shudder in emotion.
One of these upsettingly nice things was the fact that he had become so proud of us, not for learning from him, but for learning for ourselves to be independent and strong when necessary. To be able to be told at a young age, “Be strong, just for this moment,”. Only to let that moment eventuate into who we would become today.
In saying that, I was always so proud of my father. For everything he had accomplished, for the generosity he had always shown no matter how little or small. His worst feature was his obsession with hospitality. I could crash my mum’s brand new car within a month of her getting it, not only into one Audi, but then subsequently reverse it into another – and receive nothing than a big deep breath, him not looking at me glaring, but him simply looking up at the ceiling, letting out a heavy sigh, and softly uttering the words whilst shaking his head “stupid girl”. He saw my sorrow, he knew how upset and apologetic I was. He didn’t have to give any harsh words to tell me of what I had done, and that’s one of the things I loved about him.
On the other hand, if we ever made a guest feel unwelcome or didn’t shower them in generosity – well Kirsten can tell you of how many birthday parties she’s had cancelled for not offering the last slice of cake.
He would barely utter a word to me for a week, telling me about how terrible I was because I refused to wear a jacket as I was leaving the house. Looking back, he was most likely angry because he saw this as my defiance of accepting his protection, which I understand. But if I knew what I did wrong, he didn’t try to draw blood from a stone. He didn’t try to upset me anymore, he never liked seeing myself or any of my sisters shedding tears (this obviously helped when ever we wanted to win an argument, it was our draw card, and we abused it when needed). He just wanted our safety, he always just wanted to help us, to protect us.
I like to think the reason he was always away was multifaceted, of course that was where his work presented itself. But he created his work, he chose to work in other countries, helping those countries and in return he would send his earnings back to where I always believed he would rather be. If I were ever to meet any of his associates, they would instantly reveal how they had already heard all about us. How dad would always rave on about us, most likely annoying people with our stories, being forced into their minds only to create a presence of us wherever he was. Because if people knew about us, he could talk about us, and all though we were fictitious characters in their minds, we were my father’s thoughts. We were his reasons, his darlings, we were his.
As my denial has most likely ran away from me by now, far away, further than I can run after it and hide with it. All I can do is think and talk about him the same way he would talk about me, my sisters, my mother. To keep us close when we weren’t there. Keep the memories constant and real. I would just like to thank everyone, for their support, for their kind hearts, for their help, and for everything. We’re all here now, because of a terrible thing that has happened to the most incredible man. My daddy.
May he rest in peace, may he constantly look down upon me and my sisters and mother, constantly judging us and protecting us at the same time. Which he always did from a distance, only this time, he won’t be driven up the drive way anytime soon by his personal driver and long term friend Dennis, with his luggage and duty free gifts and 1L bottle of Bombay, always coming back, not to tell us all of his stories, but only to ask questions. Because as much as it was his laughter I chased, his mind I wanted to understand. He only ever wanted to know what we were laughing at and smiling about, only to ensure he could keep those smiles on our faces. He would always jest that he could never do enough for us, but I don’t think that was ever because of our high standards, only because of his.
With all my love, my gratitude, my strength and my appreciation,
I’ll keep the betting public posted,
Until then x