The truth is, I don’t know which day my dad died.
I know you're not going to know what to say, and that's OK. You don't need to say anything. But I need to write this.
It might have been yesterday, two years ago. Or it might be today, two years ago.
They were both warm, sunny May days, full of lush, green grass and vivid flowers. I remember that. And I remember thinking, a beautiful day is not a day to kill yourself.
These days are too pretty for suicide.
It took a long time for the coroner to determine cause of death. I won’t go into details, but there were two to choose from, and apparently for insurance purposes – Nick says to rule out the possibility of involvement by a beneficiary – it matters. It was hard to imagine how it could fucking matter, at that point, but it did.
I wanted to call them up and say, “Just fucking pick one! Just pick! And give us the final death certificate and let us move forward!”
But it dragged. And when the documents finally arrived – multiple copies, because you just can’t believe how many places need a copy – I couldn’t look at it. I still haven’t. I don’t want to know.
Because he left very quietly Friday morning, the morning of the 15th. My mother called me about noon that day, and said, “Dad is gone.” And we knew.
I left work in a panic, but I knew. We were frantic, terrified, you name it, all day. All night. All the next day. Until late afternoon, when we’d exhausted all ideas, and Nick suggested we call the morgue.
We called them about 45 minutes before their representatives came knocking on the door. Nick and I were out driving around in DC, and we got back to my parents’ house shortly before they arrived.
So we bore the news. They just added some details. They were very nice. I seem to recall everyone being nice.
But I don’t want to know, either way. I don’t want to know that it was Saturday, because then I wonder and wonder what he was doing, and if he was reconsidering, and why didn’t he come back home, and do you know how many times I called his goddamn cell phone that was turned off and do you know how unfair all of it is?
But I don’t want to wish it was Friday, because that’s one fewer day. You would never take a day away from someone, particularly a last day.
And so I don’t know. Is that easier? I don't know. It's what I can manage.