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On August 21, 2023 — twenty-three years and one day after my brother’s suicide — my father died in hospice care. As some readers know, my mom died on Jan. 29, 2023.
So, I spent most of August and the early days of September in my home state of Tennessee, where my folks still lived, settling affairs, putting the house up for sale, and doing all the practical work that feels like slow torture when you’re grieving.
I’ll be back to this, but I’m just day-to-day for now. My parents were in their mid-80s and not in good health, but that didn’t mitigate the blows. And I did expect to have at least a little more time with Dad.
I’ve lost two of my three siblings and my parents since August 2000. We were a close family. We loved each other and weren’t nearly as dysfunctional as some. It wasn’t all Norman Rockwell lovey-dovey, no, but my parents were truly decent people who did the best they could.
I’m walking wounded, though I hate to think of myself in such terms. But I must acknowledge what has happened in my life and find a way to do whatever healing is possible and keep moving. My folks would want that.
To that end, I’m not pushing myself to do much. I’ve got to give myself time to go through this painful and overwhelming shit and somehow come out okay on the other side, whatever that looks like.