#dadupdate – Funeral Arrangements

Sometime during the first overtime.

Reality walloped me.

Right in the back of the skull. Like an accelerating two by four.

Like a battering ram. Reality came crashing through the walls of my defenses.

We got home around … hell, I don’t remember … 10:30? It was the third period of the hockey game. That’s all I know.

Sharks and Preds. Game four. Round two.

That’s how I tell time during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I’m not joking.  The world sorta stops for a few hours almost every single night for two months. A playoff game is on!

And it’s thanks to Dad that I watch with such fanatical fervor.

Like a kid. Still. Almost 58 years old.

That’s a topic for another time. More later.

But this week… and more particularly on this night… things are different.

I sat on the right edge of the bed. My side. TV on. Hockey game on. Kathy sawing logs behind me.

I’d taken my contacts out, so I was pretty much blind. Didn’t bother finding my glasses. I sat there and stared at my smartphone.

I looked at some Facebook notifications, posts and comments that Facebook decides are important to me. I saw Doug’s post about Dad’s funeral arrangements. Then Stephanie’s post.

I  shared Stephanie’s post on my Facebook page. Then I decided to share the actual obituary.

Earlier in the evening, before we left Mom and Dad’s house, I made the last-minute decision to cancel my appointments this morning.

It was too late to call anyone. I have a rule not to call a client after 9 PM. I sent texts and emails to cover all the bases.

One client acknowledged me immediately via text and asked for details about Dad’s services. I wanted to share a link to the obit.

The obit on the funeral home’s mobile website didn’t appear to be shareable. Before I shared it with my client, I tested it out to see what page opened when I typed the address into my browser.

It took me to a generic page for Simkins Funeral Home.

“Well, that’s no good. I want to give him information, not send him on a wild goose chase. He’s being very kind.”

I wanted whatever I sent to be complete information… didn’t want to make him work to answer his own question.

There was a link to the full website. That’s what I was looking for. Clicked on the obits. Clicked on Dad’s name.

There was his obit. With that great picture.

Was the link shareable? That was the most important part of this experiment.

I tested it.

Yes. That link took me directly to Dad’s complete obituary.

I sent the link to my client.

So there I was, sitting on the bed. After sharing Stephanie’s Facebook post, I decided to share this direct link to the full obituary.OI2047625967_Kwiecinski

Countless numbers of people have replied to Facebook posts and have sent me personal messages.

I haven’t seen most of them. We’ve been too busy with funeral arrangements, the cemetery, funeral Mass prep, fighting traffic…

As I sat on the edge of the bed, TV no more than four feet away (all I can see are shadows without glasses or contacts), I read some of the messages.

All of the emotions of the words written by friends and family welled up inside of me as I read and responded.

But none of the words hit me harder than gazing at that picture of Dad’s smiling face.

I’ll never see your smiling face again.

I’ll never hear another smart-ass wisecrack.

Doesn’t it look like he’s got one on his lips?

One look at that picture and tears flooded my eyes. I sobbed hysterically. And I pretty much haven’t stopped since.

I’ll never hear him tell me “Love you, Dave” again.

I’ll never hear his voice. I’ll never hear his laugh.

I’ll never kiss his puckered lips again.

Yes, we kissed each other on the lips.

Men, if you don’t kiss your Dad, start. Look directly into his eyes. Tell him you love him. While looking directly into his eyes.

And give him a kiss. Doesn’t have to be on the lips. But if you kiss your Mom on the lips, find a way to start kissing your Dad on the lips. Or on the cheek. Make it tender. Make it loving. Make it heartfelt.

I’ll never get to do it again.

Here’s Dad’s obituary:



7 Responses to #dadupdate – Funeral Arrangements

  1. Staci Troilo says:

    I wasn’t sure if I should click “like” or not. How to like a post like this? My heart is just breaking for you and your family, Dave. But I look at this picture of your father, and I just know he left an indelible mark on your soul. I can see the joy and the laughter and the love he shared with you. You’ll never lose that. You’ll carry that with you always, and that’s how he’ll live on. So you’ll never truly lose him. And you know you’ll see him again someday.

    Yes, I know these words do nothing to ease your aching grief right now, but please know I’m grieving for you. Perhaps I can share some of that pain, help you lighten your load, until time makes it easier for you to bear. And in the meantime, I will be praying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DeeScribes says:

    Peace be with you and your family Dave as you move through this. May you find comfort in shared memories. He sounds like a wonderful man, and he lived a life full of love. That doesn’t take away the ache or loneliness you feel, I know. You honor him by continuing to serve as an example of love and dedication to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julie Cohen says:

    Dearest Dave,
    I heard the sad news this morning and I am so sorry! I know it will take time for the flood of emotions to harbor. You have such a big and loving family I hope you all find peace and comfort in each other. There is a saying I like which is ” we are luminescent when most vulnerable” so your dad will be shining through bright and clear. My thoughts are with you and my heart is heavy for you.
    Love to all,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave,

    I am terribly sorry for you loss. Your words touched me and I can feel what you are going through. Time is short with the ones we love. What a great message you share. Take the time to be with the ones that you love, whether by phone or in person. Family is important and they have made us who we are.

    I am here for you, and praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marsha says:

    I’m glad you had such a beautiful relationship with your dad. So few people do. You have a wealth in your memory bank. I love his smiling picture, and it does look like he is going to make a wisecrack. :) God bless as you take this time to mourn and celebrate his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, thank you, Marsha. Dad never hesitated to give me grief in both loving and playful ways, but he had such a deep respect for me. I’ll never forget that and I only hope that I emulate that with my own children. Whether he knew how much I respected him while he was here, he sure knows it now!

      Yeah, that picture is great, isn’t it? I wish you had known him. You’d hear the wisecrack rolling off his lips. He knew how to have a good time. Right until the end. Thank God for that.

      Liked by 1 person

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