First, I wanted to thank you all for your kind thoughts regarding my father's passing. It's been very comforting to see names that I don't usually see here posting, and to read the shared stories of loss. And thank you in particular to those who have e-mailed me your thoughts and cards. I'm grateful for those.
Never having lost a family member before, it's been a different experience for me. The initial-if-not-unexpected shock has passed, and I guess I'm finally mourning my loss, and the odd timing of his death has me a bit off-put: his 61st wedding anniversary, leading me to feel that somewhere deep in his fantastic dementia, he believed he was giving my mom the ultimate anniversary gift.
It's been hardest on her these past four years, and while I'm not about to recount the sufferings she's had in detail, traveling miles with her own disabilities to see him, forgoing his entire pension and Social Security to pay for his nursing home fees, while also seeing to my brother's well-being (and then living through his heart surgery, and near firing), I'm sure she's more relieved right now than anything.
Too, it was just about a year ago today that my cat died, and that's been instructive for me, because if not for that event, then I would never have had ThumbPer, who has been an absolute joy. So in our losses, I think, we must learn to find, no, expect joy.
Finally, I've been a little short and cross with friends who, altho meaning well, have said some things that I felt were a bit inappropriate at the moment. I'm sorry for discounting your intentions.