A year ago my father-in-law passed away ten days before his 81st birthday. I wrote about it in this post - one of a string of my most personal and I think, best, writings.
I’ve often said that to me, Death doesn’t make any sense. Living is hard. Creation and building takes so much time and energy, but destruction? Death? Everything is gone in an instant, and what do you have left?
Pictures. Various momentos. And something else: An emptiness that I can only describe as an echo of a life, a vibration that continues but softens with each passing day of a life that once way that isn’t no more.
Are there more such echoes around us that we can’t recognize or hear because we never met the people that caused them? Or do they eventually fade into complete and utter silence? If so, when?
A year on, the Wife is stronger. I am stronger and (I hope) more perceptive. The Kid misses his grandfather but the tears are much rarer now, and they will fade just like the memories that elicit them – until he will one day struggle to remember things about his grandfather and his life as a child with him.
Unfortunately, he leaves behind a wife whom he protected and in a sense, held together. She struggles to move forward, and only now begins to realize how much he shielded her from and grounded her in the world.
The Wife’s sister continues suffering from the insanity of Alcoholism. She has regressed 30 years into the mind of a rebellious 14 year old whose handle on reality isn’t, well, just plain isn’t there.
Beyond that? His garden has gone wild, but his tools remain where he last touched them over a year ago. Most of his clothes were donated and now clothe strangers throughout the area or wait to be sold abroad.
The echo of his life continues.