One hard part of Dad’s death is that, now, there is no human barrier protecting us kids from the Universe.
There is no one — even in theory — who can hold us, protect us or offer the wisdom of the ages.
We are the older generation. Ostensibly, the wise ones.
We were incredibly lucky, our grandparents died and then our parents and their generation. In order.
As we learned, in our extended family, too many people have to bury a child or a loved one gone too early.
Even when Dad was declining, he still held our emotional, mythical line between us kids and mortality.
Months and months ago, I had to get Dad on the phone with customer service at a credit card company. I asked him, “Dad, can you tell the lady on the phone how you are?”
“Dad,” he answered.
Because, no matter where his mind took him and no matter how confused he could become, he was instinctively our Dad.
He always came back to us, almost magically, if he heard one of his children say,
“Yes, darling?” was his answer. Always.
Since he is gone, there is no one to whom we can call out, “Mom?” “Dad?” and get a response — at least in this dimension.
And still, sometimes, I sigh, “oh, Daddy . . . . ”
And wait for a response.
And I know that, for us, any death that lies ahead is unbearable.