It’s been seven years since my dad died, and I wish I had better words to express how incomprehensible that still is. All those things you say when someone who was suffering has passed have slowly subsided. I remember him in the most inopportune moments, but there he is.
The things I dig deep within me to say about him are likely going to always fall short. When I slow down enough to notice things like that light pouring into the stairwell in the photo above, I’m reminded that he touched so many lives partly because he knew how to shut up and listen.
He truly was quiet. So few words emanated from him that there was a noticeable hush in the room when people realised he wanted to say something. When I was rather young, I remember he had the saddest smile sometimes. I suppose one of his successes was that the melancholy in his grin appeared to have evaporated. Over the years, it was as if he just didn’t have the time or energy to be maudlin anymore.
There was a soulful singer he introduced me to who sang about the depravity of humanity. Beautiful songs, but really quite dark. Years later, I asked him why he never listened to that artist anymore.
‘I just realised one day that his songs were really depressing,‘ he said. ‘There’s enough sadness in the world – why would I want to dwell on any of that?‘
Yes, why indeed.