Monday, October 11, 2004

Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

Saturday was one of relief. Clearing out the palliative-care-provided hospital-style bed that Dad was using since March. Shifting the proper beds back into place. Cleaning out. Everybody is relieved that all that pain of the dying is finished. There is still mourning going on, but it tends to be about forgetting the day-to-day routine of the past few months, and remembering the odd amusing moment.

It's overcast here in Toronto, and today is at last autumnally cool. There was an Indian summer over the weekend. There hasn't been much rain for ages, and not much leaf fall yet either.

We're waiting for the funeral tomorrow morning. In the meantime, there has been talk of spirits, and re-visitations by Dad. Such conclusions arising from the raw feelings of dread, which accompanied the trying months past, and are now working themselves out of the sub-conscious. They are a manifestation of the process of relief. Such is my task, to be here to moderate the "mourning", to be witness to their stories of my Dad's last weeks, and thus to alleviate their experiences. So even though I wasn't here for the ending, I'm still involved.

Three of my sisters are here and are driving me bananas with their childish quarrelling and squabbling and their tragically misguided emotions. At middle-age, you would think they would all have a little more intelligence and understanding about what is going on in each other's heads. But no, enormous rows have erupted over things such as "what shoes to wear to the funeral". Fights over superficial irrelevancies, that stubbornly conceal each their own insecurities and the jealously-guarded alternate coping mechanisms that their very different lifetimes have engraved in them.

And now with their father dead..., it's their strange way of coming to terms with the vacuum from having lost somebody to fall back on, or to rebel against. By gossipping and quarreling they attempt to find some community of strength and reserve. I'm not sure it's working, and to me it looks like it's creating more trouble, but then, I 'm only gay, and the older I get the less I seem to know.

Need some men around here, some solid, stolid emotionless men. Ones who drown themselves in drink, even... Ones who live only for football... Ones who could effortlessly ignore the antics of these women: none of the nonsense would even enter the periphery of their vision enough to be worthy of attention.

There may be no such men here, but I can still dream, so maybe I should have my jet-lag nap after all.

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