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An uncertain death

After a certain (but not specific) age, we all seem to know that death is a fact of life. Yet when it comes to someone we know, it is often unsettling. Both my children called today to tell me my ex-husband, their father, had died yesterday morning. We’ve been divorced for over thirty years. Unexpectedly, I felt choked up with sadness. I thought about his dying often, thought it might never happen. He was that kind of person. He’d had many near death experiences and it took a long illness to take him out.

I suppose I don’t have to say anything more about this, or anything at all, but it feels like an end of something major in our lives. The last time I saw him was about three years ago. I visited him in a nursing home in New York. He had a big presence even though he was not a very good father or husband. Not the kind of person one would want to know for long. The pain he caused leaves a deep impression. He had so much potential; it’s very sad. He was brilliant, could be charming, very literate. I often say I married him for his high IQ and long eyelashes. But that’s not enough.

As Tamar put it so succinctly for her friends on her Facebook page: First, please no condolences. . . This is a very complicated thing for me. My father died yesterday.

So that’s the way it is. If there is a next time for him, I wish him well.


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