The Unbearable Lightness Of Letters

September 15, 2009

A friend called me, last week, after I’d written about struggling through the process of sorting through some of my father’s papers. “After my aunt died,” she said, “after we went through all of her things, I immediately went home and dug up all the old love letters from old boyfriends and notes and letters [...]

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September 10, 2009

I don’t know how to write here, right now. I don’t know how to write here, because I am caught between the imperative to move forward in my life, in this life, in my life as Catherine, and the imperative – the desire – to dwell a little longer in this space where I am [...]

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September 1, 2009

In the last year of my parents’ marriage, my dad had an affair. I’ve always known this, my mom has always known this, it was something that we all talked about, in later years: his regret, his remorse, over this thing he had done, its effect on my mother, its effect on our family, the [...]

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The Long Goodbye

August 22, 2009

My children crashed back into my life last night like a pair of drunken sailors on shore leave and after an evening and morning of angry carousing (hugging Mommy, yelling at Mommy, demanding candy, ignoring Mommy, hugging Mommy again) things have started to settle down and I am finally moving into a space where I will be [...]

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August 20, 2009

Here’s the thing: there’s a smudge. There’s a smudge on the floor where my father died. The smudge is him, or what’s left of him. What was left of him, after the coroner took his remains away. The circumstances of his death – or rather, the circumstances of the recovery of his body – were [...]

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Haunted, As The Minutes Drag

August 17, 2009

I’m tired. So tired. This process is so long and so hard and so taxing on the heart and soul (although, I know, I know, so necessary and in some ways so good, because this is his last gift to me, this opportunity to take one last journey with him, and to grow up, to [...]

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Time Enough For Telling

August 14, 2009

I haven’t been able to narrate, but not for want of stories. It’s just that, the story right now is so overwhelming. And what passages in the story are not so overwhelming (the moment when, for example, I laughed out loud at my mother and the funeral home assistant for dithering over whether to quantify [...]

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Here Be Monsters

August 11, 2009

Today, I went into my father’s home, a thing that I was afraid to do. I don’t have words yet to explain that fear, nor do I have words to explain – to narrate – the experience of overcoming that fear. This is such a complicated story. Or, perhaps, it’s not. A father, well-loved, dies, [...]

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Miles To Go

August 9, 2009

Yesterday, we drove – my mother, my sister and I – through the hot, dusty valley toward my father’s home, and we fought. A wrong word here, a raised eyebrow there, a tinder box of raw, snapping nerves and the flicker of a hint of a suggestion of an accusation, a tiny lick of angry [...]

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