Thursday, 31 July 2008

No answer

sunny, humid, temp 27

We're in Toronto. Got up at 4am - drove to Montreal and stopped briefly at the apartment there to see if Michael's suit was there...after searching every closet at home in country for it - twice. We kept thinking - where could we have left it? When was the last time Michael wore it? Did Gary take it?

It was hanging in the Montreal apartment - feel quite badly now about locking Gary in the basement as punishment. Oh well, I'm sure he can gnaw himself loose. He did last time.

Stopped at The 5th Wheel in Cornwall for breakfast, and a change of driver. Easy drive, though we skirted some pretty impressive thunderstorms. Amazing fork lightening off to our left. But it never hit us. Then sun came out around Kingston and we rolled into Toronto about 1pm

Just had lunch and will have a nap, then off to the funeral parlor (such an old-fashioned word, isn't it?) for the visitation. Having done this for my grandparents as well as mother and father I always think there is something kind of barbaric about the funeral rites. I agree there's a sense of closure - but what torture for the family! To have a sort of somber cocktail party in the same room as the deceased. Make small talk. Or crying everytime someone new arrives. I remember being so tired at my mother's I could barely stand. And I kept thinking, 'I have to call Mom and tell her how it went.'

That feeling lasted a long time. Have to call her about the delicates cycle in the dryer, about how to make Yorkshire pudding, about the roses now in bloom, about the great deals at The Bay. All the little things no one else would ever be interested in. Mom was.

I remember the first time I laughed after she died...I felt horrible. That took a while too - to know that life indeed goes on.

Mary and her family are going through that now. Poor ones.

We have tons of fudge for the kids. If Earl Grey tea is the opiate of the Anglos, as Peter says in Still Life, then candy is the gentle drug for kids.

Speak to you tomorrow. Funeral's at 11am, so will probably be later in the day.


Lesa said...

My father died when he was only 59, which means I was 34, and my sisters younger. I felt wrapped in love at the funeral home, and only cried when a friend of the family walked in, and he had been Santa Claus when I was six.

The exhaustion hit me afterward. And, I know it will hit her when everyone goes home. My Mom went back to work as soon as the grandkids went home so she wasn't alone in the house.

My father has been dead for seventeen years now. I still miss him, and wish there were things I could share. And, anytime my mother says, your father would be proud, I cry all over again.

It never gets easier, does it, Louise?

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Lesa,

What a beautiful thing to write. No, the ache is always there. I'm sure your father was a kind man - he sure produced a kind daughter.