My father was one of those emotionally-absent men who cared very much about his family, but who worked very hard to do his job as he saw it, showing his love through that work. I didn’t appreciate him (or the work ethic that defined his life) enough as I was growing up, and didn’t really get to know him until the last seven years of his life.
I was with him when he died. My sister and I sat on either side of his bed and held his hands as he walked down that long stairway. When he reached the end of it, he took a deep breath and stepped off.
His dying erased any vestige of fear I might have harbored about death. I’m not ready to welcome it—not for a long time—but I know from having seen my dad die, that it doesn’t have to be a scary process.
I wanted to share the experience my sister and I had on that March day in 2002, so when I wrote the 5th book in my mystery series, Indigo as an Iris, I put in the story a death that looked very much like my dad’s. If you read INDIGO, you’ll see the loving gentle way he left this life.
I’ve been thinking about it because, obviously, Father’s Day is here, but also because bees from my hives die on a regular, daily basis. I’ve found their sweet little bodies on the deck, in the planters, and caught in a spider web behind/beside a recirculating fountain. I hope they went as easily as my father.
BEEattitude for Day # 250:
Blessed are those who appreciate their family while they can, for their memories shall be richer.
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