It's kind of mind-boggling that people's lives become so inextricably interwoven with yours that, after they are no longer here, you spend months and months stumbling across the little dribs and drabs -- stuff that never occurred to you after the initial loss, that keeps coming up over and over. The responsiblities that fall immedately post-mortem -- the sorting, the cleaning, the disposal of property, the dispersion of assets, taxes, death certificates -- that's all the stuff you're expecting. The Big Stuff.
But there's the other stuff... the stuff that you never think of, until like little emotional Claymore, you trip the wire and everything kind of goes... boom. It's the small stuff that's killer.
Today, my electronic calendar sent me a message to let me know that my father's birthday is a week from tomorrow -- so, presumably, I shouldn't forget it (as I had done in years past) and make other plans, instead of making the yearly pilgramage to the House on Carpenter to either take him to dinner, or when he stopped leaving the house, take him dinner, a card, some chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and then high-tail it out of there as quickly as possible.
This year, there'll be a small gathering to celebrate the event, undoubtedly for the last time ever. I will not be attending the party in Maui, which will culminate in the scattering of his ashes in the lovely, balmy waters of Maalea Bay, just south of Lahaina. I have plans to go in July, when the Hawaiians will take to me to one of the holiest places on the island -- the crater at Haleakala -- where I can say good-bye myself, in my own way.
Meanwhile, I have celebrated the occasion in my own way -- by deleting his birthday from my calendar. (Open the birthday note, click "All future dates," click "Delete"... gone.) I guess after this year, March 18th is just the day after St. Patrick's Day.