My father passed away last Father’s Day. Three of my children and I scattered my husband’s ashes into the sea in Northern Ireland only a few Father’s Days ago…..as a daughter was diving into emerald seas across the globe, doing research under the tutelage of the very same professor who had been her dad’s undergraduate thesis adviser.
Recently I heard Sheryl Sandberg being interviewed about the aftermath of her husband’s death, in which friends asked her if they could do anything for her and she responded with the internal thought, “Can you make Father’s Day not happen?”
I don’t feel that way any more, though arguably I once did. My children and I have honored their dad in different ways since he died, on Father’s Day and every other day. This year I’ll honor both my dad and theirs. Even if you had no such father in your life, I’m guessing nearly everyone knows fathers or father figures they can honor in whatever way seems best. If you can still call write a note to or call that person tomorrow to express your admiration and gratitude, all the better. I’ll be speaking to mine, and to my children’s wonderful and strong dad, in my own way.
June 1990, Cambridge, Massachusetts
It’s the mechanical response: my father’s date of birth.
He died on Sunday, Father’s Day.
A few days earlier my subconscious had hovered around the equally palindromic date of six-one-six-one-six as I was waiting to pick up my older brother at the airport. Only days before that my father, who had long been immobilized by Parkinson’s Disease, had haltingly spoken the very same phrase my husband voiced days before he passed away. Although there had been no overt sign that my father’s death was imminent, intuition spoke.
“It’s just my gut, and my gut’s been wrong, but I think you should fly out this week.”
And my brothers and I found ourselves laughing, giving each other a hard time, and telling stories and finishing each other’s sentences as we surrounded my father’s bed during his last days.
February 1931, New York City
Family legend has…
View original post 680 more words