ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

And Then Real Life Crashes In

My wife's father died yesterday morning. He'd been in the hospital for about three weeks, on life support, after suffering a couple of serious heart attacks. The prognosis was grim from the start, though he hung on, unconscious and heavily medicated, for longer than anyone expected.

Though it's a long, involved, odd story, basically my wife and her father didn't really have much of a relationship; he removed himself from the lives of her, her siblings and their mother when she was young, and they had only had minimal contact since. He was a troubled man, who had had a serious drinking problem, though when my wife tracked him down several years ago, she was happy to learn that he had embraced AA and the local church and had been sober for 26 years.

There's a lot of other stuff too, that's too private to go into in a public forum like this. Suffice it to say that in a perfect world, he would have been a stronger man, but he wasn't, and my wife has made her peace with this.

I'm a lucky man. Until this week, I've never had to be even partially responsible for having to worry about what to do with someone who died, and after going through the process of helping with the funeral home/cemetery arrangements, I'm rather horrified by it all. Losing a family member is stressful enough; having to deal with everything that comes along with the aftermath adds another layer of stress.

I had no idea how much it costs to bury someone, even without many real bells or whistles. I know now.

But my wife is coming through this all very strongly, while it has formed new bonds between us and her father's family (his sisters and their grown children). So even in death, new things emerge.

But my writing is off on a shelf again. There's family stuff to deal with, and work piling up (not that I'm complaining) that needs to be done, and priorities that are being reshuffled. The volume of time that just last week hung on me like an albatross has now been entirely sucked away.

But it won't be long before I dust it off, and dive back in again. I've promised myself.

Until then, call your parents, and hug your kids.

13 Comments:

At 8:21 PM, Blogger Kira said...

Deepest condolences to you both, Scott. All best wishes.

 
At 9:14 PM, Blogger Scribe LA said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope things go as smoothly as possible and that from this trying time you both are able to emerge stronger and healthier.
All the best,
Scribe

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Brett said...

It seems to go in waves: there's that phase of your life when you are dealing with everyone finding new homes and lives and careers, and that phase when people get married, and then when the kids start to pop up like mushrooms, and then that phase where people start to die.

Dying stinks-- there's no two ways about it. Even when someone dies relatively peacefully and at the close of a long life, it still ripples pain and anguish out all around.

Hang tough and try to take some note of what the pain *really* feels like. Every experience is grist for the mill. Use it.

And be sure you are dedicated to making your life what you really want it to be.
.
.
.
B

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous kristen said...

I'm sorry. That's awful.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Eddie said...

Sorry Scott. Best wishes.

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger The Film Diva said...

Condolences, Scott and a big hug to the wife.

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Wow, Scott. So sorry to hear that. Please give Mrs. Reader my condolonces.

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Very sorry for the loss. Keep the chin up.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Peter said...

My deepest condolences, Scott to both you and your wife. Been there with both my folks. All that was unsaid that needed saying, and now, can never be said.

You are so right. Call your parents, your brothers and sisters. And kids. And say it. Whatever it is.

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger James said...

My condolensces.

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous annabel said...

My condolences to you and your wife.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Thanks everyone.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Delayed condolences. Been remiss in reading some of my favorite blogs.

 

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