Farewell

   My dad passed away on September 8th at 6:08 pm in New Orleans. His heart just stopped beating. They had tried to bring him back, but in the end his body couldn't survive what it had been through. My mom was there by his side the whole time. Jackson and I tried to fly out in time but we didn't make it. I can't quite explain how hard it was to have to walk through the airport and try not to burst into tears in front of the crowds of people.

   We've been here in New Orleans for several days now. The city is dark but beautiful. I've been losing track of the time... It has been strangely therapeutic to be in a completely foreign place. We each have had our own way with dealing with his death. In a way, I feel this place has been healing us and helping us sort through the confusion we were left in.

   The other day, my mom walked by a restaurant and it was playing the song that they had danced to on their wedding day. A few days ago, Jackson went down to a bar next to the hospital. A man there saw he was crying and asked him what had happened. When he explained, the man paid Jackson's entire tab and then got the band to dedicate a beautiful song to my dad.

   I was having trouble sleeping for several days. One night I was awake and feeling completely overwhelmed with grief. All of the sudden I could have sworn I had a feeling my dad was there in the corner of the room. He wasn't upset or worried or in pain like he had been for the last few months. And I swear he told me with so much love that everything was ok.

   I illegally snuck into the St. Roch's Cemetery a few days ago. They were closed, but I had to see the Saint's shrine so I jumped the fence. It's a beautiful tiny room in the chapel where people over the years have placed replicas of human body parts in thanksgiving for cures attributed to the help of St. Roch. I think the part that upsets me the most about my dad's passing was how close we were to handling his illness, yet how far away we were. My dad became an organ donor himself and ended up helping someone else. I spent a little time alone in the room and sent off a thanks to him for everything.