My Father’s Death
My father Eli died last week. He was almost 88 years and had suffered a series of strokes, both small and major. He was in hospice, and refused food, water, and medication. It took him about eight days to die. He was a tough guy who spent most of his life in New Jersey.
I am a writer. He was my father. I don’t want to eulogize him, because I don’t feel that as an obligation and eulogy is not totally honest. I don’t want to paint his portrait—although it would be a complex.
But I do want to write about him.
What interests me is how his death will affect my writing. Will I be more honest, confessional, direct? Will I write about different things now that I no longer feel his eye upon me? Or will I be less driven? Granted, that eye was more metaphor than real—and I never shared everything I wrote, not even my published books.
When he was dying, I wrote two long lists.One was everything I liked about him—one was negative. The lists were of equal length. A smart friend of mine said she thought that was pretty good! Until then, it hand’t occurred to me to realize I might have perceived more faults than virtues.
I want to write about my father. Or, write whatever pleases me in the space of his absence.