Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Three weeks ago Tuesday, February 11th, at a little before midnight, my father passed away. He had been sick with a nerodegenerative disease called Pick's disease, a kind of dementia associated with loss of speech, memory, and early on-set. He was diagnosed in December of 1998 at the age of 54, and by the end of 2004 most all his language and human-ness, including the ability to recognize other people had dissapeared. It had been close to ten years since he said a word, eight years since he'd been outside, four years since he'd stood on two feet, and since then, he's been confined to a bed asides from when the nurses would take him out and set him at a table with the other speechless old men. In this sense of decay it is with great relief that his story has finally come to an end. In another sense its impossible to know if he was suffering or what possibly could have been happening inside of his mind during the last ten years. It's comforting to think that with language comes judgment (or is it the other way around?), and without words from which to create categories of self or time, one moment is as good as the next. Or at the very least, that successive moments are not compounded onto each other, i.e. memory; human misery more a product of our relationship to suffering than the suffering itself. Regardless, my father's death has brought an odd mix of sadness and relief.


Over the next couple months I plan to write the story of the last three weeks + digressions. Granted I am busy with school and teaching, so it won't be an intensive project like the story I wrote over the summer. One caveat: I'm writing from a single perspective, and do not make any claims that this perspective is shared by others, or that it is the "right" perspective. His official obituary, that my family and I wrote, can be found here. As much as I would like to write a long story about "who" my dad was, the fact is that he has been under the spell of Pick's for my entire adult life, and frankly, I didn't know him as a person. So as, under the cliche directive of "write what you know," the story continues through the strange and ill-defined parameters of blogging. Onward...