Written late at night, inspired by the blue lights that briefly lit up my room.
My father spent his last three days with us, lying dead in the living room. Winter had only just ended. Although the snow had melted and the sun shone warmly through the window, my father still felt so cold. His face was frozen in a peaceful expression, as if he was thankful he could finally rest. We were told that after his heart gave out, he likely only felt pain for a couple of seconds before he was off. I wonder what he thought about in those seconds.
Maybe he asked for forgiveness.
Maybe he thought of us – his two boys of five and seven, his wife, his other son, his daughters… maybe even the cat? I don’t actually remember him interacting much with the cat. Honestly, I don’t have many memories of him anymore at this point.
But maybe he thought of the ones I also still remember: how I would squeeze the skin on his hand, between his thumb and index finger. How I would walk on his feet, and he would make me feel as if I was taking giant steps. Or maybe a memory from the photo book, where he held me as I slept in his arms, under a tree in the Amazon. Or maybe it was a tad less dramatic than all of that.
Maybe he just thought: “Wow, that really hurts.” and that was it.
Either way, he seemed to be at peace, at least.
He lied in the living room for three days, give or take. We painted his humble coffin – his final resting place, with cars, stickmen, clouds, the sun, our names, and every other thing we could think of. We did not question it. After three days his coffin looked rather lively, with all its drawings and colours.
I even talked to him sometimes. I would just tell him about my day, or about some other small thing. I do think about how it would be to talk to him now if he was in front of me. I would probably just cry. The thought of it already does, anyway. If I really think about it, I don’t think I would say anything, honestly. Any question I would want to ask him would be met with the same dead silence I faced all those years ago. The dead silence I continued to face after he was buried. The dead silence I still face. For some questions, the answer will never be enough.
My father spent his last three days with us, lying dead in the living room. Winter had only just ended. Although the snow had melted and the sun shone warmly through the window, I still felt so cold.