Keeping it Real Dad

Wherever you are, I am sure you are connected, so I will keep it real – sorry if the language is a bit heavy – but hell, you said quite a few curse words the last time I heard your voice. Not to mention the huge swear words you used as we were all going down the monkey falls at Ratanga in December – BIG curse words!

The last five days have been like a freaking shit-storm, and not because you are dead – I mean, we both know that I knew your demise was near long before you went into hospital. Let’s be honest and not kid ourselves, okay?

Anyway – the last week has been a shit-storm because my sanctuary has been invaded by many, many people. Day and night, there’s been no respite, hence I’m sitting in a coffee shop, getting some headspace to do some writing.

Of course, your social butterfly, mom – thrives on these people interactions. She’s been treated like a queen these last few days. Your sister and brother-in-law, bless their souls, have been taking really good care of her. Her hair has been done and she got a pretty dress to wear to your memorial service tomorrow – you will beam with pride in your wife when you see her. Of course I know you will sneak a peek at her, you’d not want to miss this sight!

Anyway, enough with the small talk. I got all your paper work in order, and you know what is most bizarre? The efficiency of Home Affairs when it comes to registering a death. Within 48 hours your death certificate was ready for collection at the undertakers. The shocker however was seeing the word “deceased” stamped on each page of your ID – I mean really now, did they have to do that? Makes it seem as if your life, memory, etc. can just be erased with a bleak stamp!

It would seem that government departments are extremely efficient when it comes to the dead. No beating around the bush, no wasting time, dead is dead I suppose.

Those who read this, may think it quite callous of me to be so blunt about your demise. But what the heck, such is life – and I know you can appreciate the practicality of my neurodiversity.

I’m so glad that I got to sit next to your bed on Saturday. You were truly ready to go, your mind was clear – there was no confusion, with the exception of you being convinced that it was Friday – but I can let that one slide – after all, who would not get confused with the days if you’ve spent 19 days confined to a hospital bed?

Oh my gosh, you should see all the beautiful plants and flowers that now adorn our dinner table – I’m sure you can smell those lovely fragrances, and I know for a fact that by now you would have turned your hearing aids off while pretending to listen to all the chatter – but I’ll keep this one just between the two of us, and Kai of course.

Today we had a good start to our day – I played Kai the final song that you listened to, Billy Paul – Me and Mrs. Jones. I know that it must have brought back sweet memories of your youthful exuberance with mom and your friends – way back in the day when you still drank alcohol and played soccer. Those were the days!

You’d be pleased to know that I’ve been sucking it all up. The social thing, even though there’s been a few occasions where I’ve wanted to bash my head through the wall – sometimes it just got way too busy for me, felt like I had a thousand ants walking all over my body! I miss your silent presence – but then again even in death your silent presence is felt, all the time . . .

Anyway – my coffee is getting cold, the way you liked it I may add, but sorry dad, not sacrificing my coffee for your comedic benefit today.

Tomorrow we will celebrate your wonderful life. I might cry, I might block everyone out, I may even go for a walk on the beach instead of sitting in a church service – but I will see how it goes. Ag, who am I kidding? You know I will go to church and hold Kai’s hand and walk next to your coffin and do the expected “right” thing, I will do it for you – and I will do it for mom, most importantly I will do it for myself and Kai, it is the least that I can do as many people are coming to honour your legendary life! Thank you for being such an amazing person, right to the end!