How We Shall Laugh

I miss my dad this morning. It might be because Memorial Day is approaching, but mostly I think it's just something that visits on a regular basis without announcing itself. Which is rude.

Back in 2005 I found out my beloved grandpa Popi had passed. My dad left me a message, and when I heard it I threw the phone across the bed. Like that would make a difference!

When I found out my dad had died, I couldn't throw anything across the room, because I was holding a one-month-old baby. I couldn't anything, because by then I had kids, and when you have kids you can't do anything other than go on.

Later that day, when he was driving me up to Salt Lake, Tyler asked me how it felt. Not how I was doing, or even how I was feeling (he asked those plenty of times) but specifically, how it felt. To lose a parent. To lose him. And I said something like, "I would take all the things I didn't like about him 10 times over if I could just have the good things back." I still would.

Even though I was tortured by the last words I ever said to him ("is Mom there?"), I have taken comfort in the fact that there was kindness and forgiveness between us. We loved each other, and we both knew it.

I believe that he goes on. That he remembers me, and that sometimes he sees me. That he is busy and working. I came across this poem the other day, and it is such a beautiful expression of what I believe, and what I think my dad would say to us if he could.

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

-Henry Scott Holland

So what's my point? Well, I don't really have one except to say be kind, even if you don't think someone deserves it. You will not regret it.

Working on that, among other things. Just like my dad always did.