So my Dad, Luis El Grande, passed away at his winter hideout in Florida on April 8th.
His health was poor, and I (a nurse) and my sister-in-law (a physician) both knew he wasn't well and didn't have very long. Both of us predicted around Thanksgiving that he might not come back to Michigan this spring.
He was only 3 weeks from coming home when he proved us right.
From what I understand, he and his girlfriend were out having fun all day. He came home, made and ate dinner, then dozed off in his lazy boy. When his girlfriend tried to wake him up about two hours later, he was gone. All in all, dying peacefully in your sleep isn't a bad way to go.
Dying from Type II diabetes, congestive heart failure and morbid obesity, however, seems pretty dumb. But he'd been wanting to die since Mom passed back in 2002 and chose slow suicide. He was fully aware that controlling his weight would have meant many more years of life, but there you go.
We buried him last Wednesday next to my Mom. The burial was a debacle, but I'll tell that story another time. Basically it was a customer service foul-up by the cemetery and funeral home. But it got done.
So now I'm the executor of the trust, and Mona is helping out. My brother Juan is in the loop and we'll be talking to Dads lawyer this week. I've managed to get some stuff done, but to really take care of most things we need to wait on the death certificate from Florida.
We also went to his house up north and took some heirlooms out before his girlfriend and her family got in there. We got the will and some jewelry out of the safe, the guns out of the attic, tools out of the basement and took them home.
We're planning an Estate Sale to clean the place out over Memorial Day weekend.
The best thing to come out of this deal is that The Peanuts college (along with a siblings, should one ever come along) is pretty much covered.
The odd thing is that I am not nearly as broken up as I was when Mom died. Me and Luis had some serious disagreements and he was a right bastard on more than a few occasions. I had a great deal of anger towards him for most of my life.
Now that he's gone, I am not so angry. But I'm not grieving much beyond a few tears at the funeral either. It's a very different and so far much less painful experience that when Mom died. It feels more like a milestone than a loss. Kind of like my 40th birthday. It was going to happen sooner or later. Might not be fun, but there's worse things.
Actually, the worst part was explaining it to The Peanut. We were very honest with her and tried to keep it simple. We told her Gramps had died and had gone to heaven. We took her to the funeral so she could say goodbye and we were careful to explain that while he looked like he was asleep, his body was old and sick and he wasn't there anymore (we don't want her to fear sleep).
She took it pretty much the way "the books" said she would; lots of questions with long breaks between series, essentially revisiting the same questions over and over. She expressed sadness a few times and seems to have dealt with it pretty well. But every now and then running through it with her would get me going. She asked us a lot while we were driving and Mona would have to do the talking while I welled up, unable to speak. I feel bad that she won't know her Grandparents on my side, but I didn't know 3 of the 4 of mine and I turned out OK. She already calls my Godparents Grams and Gramps, and they treat her like a grandchild, so all in all she'll never really experience the loss.
Mona's parents are both in their 50's, but he dad is not the healthiest guy (recently lost an eye to cancer and has other issues; I give him 10 years, tops) and her mom had a mastectomy (she's cancer free now) last summer. But I figure they'll last a while, and The Peanut will have lots of chances to go and stay at Grams House of Perpetual Indulgence.
So there you go. It's been a hell of a month.