An absence in Illinois

Thank you to everyone for your words of condolence, sympathy, and support. They and y’all are greatly appreciated.

We made it safe and sound to Illinois. The drive was long; we got caught in rush hour traffic on I-294 yesterday morning, which was . . . unpleasant.

The wake will be this afternoon and the funeral tomorrow morning.

The obituary is lovely, but it seems incomplete to me. It doesn’t mention my father-in-law’s quiet sense of humor, or how infectious and warm his smile was, or his great, booming voice when he recited poetry or Shakespeare at the dinner table, or how much he loved going to the symphony and watching movies at home with his wife. It doesn’t talk about his sense of whimsy, unexpected and charming in a man who, upon first impression, seemed so stern–until you caught the twinkle in his eye. And it doesn’t remark upon his love of ice cream, his favorite dessert above any other, or how he enjoyed gazing out the window at the rabbits and raccoons as he washed the after-dinner dishes. So many things it doesn’t say. His stubbornness and his compassion, the strength he gave his children, the encouragement and approval he gave me–sharing with me the struggles and joys of being a writer; he truly was a father to me, much more so than my birth father ever was. And most of all, it doesn’t mention the gaping hole his passing has left behind.

He was much loved and is dearly missed.

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17 Responses to An absence in Illinois

  1. elmwood says:

    The obituary is lovely, Eugie, but your comments are even more so as they show such affection for someone who was obviously very special. I am truly sorry for yours and Matthew’s loss.

  2. markdeniz says:

    Oh my word I missed this news somewhere, my deepest condolences for your loss.

    Huge hugs and if there is anything I can do from over here let me know…

  3. amokk says:

    Unfortunately, obituaries never contain everything they should. Partially because they’re hard to write, and partially because they rely on information from people who are going through the greiving process. Having written some for a class, it’s a difficult process for everyone involved.

    I’m very sorry for your loss, you have my condolences.

  4. jaylake says:

    He was much loved and is dearly missed.

    I’m sorry.

  5. pleroma says:

    I wrote a piece for my father’s memorial and read it outloud. When it came time to his actual funeral, I read it again for everyone present.

    That conveyed my father so that all those attending could understand him through my eyes.

  6. ellyssian says:

    My condolences to you and your family.

  7. madwriter says:

    They should’ve gotten you to do the writing . . .

  8. sruna says:

    I never know what to say at moments like this and keep backspacing over whatever I start to write. A hug would be better.

    I’m so sorry…

  9. pyanfar says:

    i’m so sorry sweetie…
    you and Matthew and his family are in my thoughts….

  10. He sounded like a wonderful man. You’re lucky to have known him.

  11. keesa_renee says:

    :hugs: You and your family are in my prayers–which I know sounds trite, but it’s very true. I wish there was some way I could help.

  12. melonaise says:

    How did you manage to make me cry over the passing of a man I’ve never met? *hugs* Take care of yourself. If I were in your position I’d be sleeping a lot, but maybe you’re working a lot instead. If so, don’t forget to sleep.

  13. basletum says:

    He’s in a better place.

  14. writer_space says:

    All my sympathies, Eugie. My thoughts will be with you and your family.

    Holly

  15. blzblack says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Here’s hoping your family recovers from it.

  16. I am so sorry for your loss of a father who will be so dearly missed. You have the power of the pen. When the time is right, transfer thos lovely memories to a story that will let this wonderful man live on in so many hearts.

  17. It’s me again. It took me until today to realize I could read Bob’s obituary online. He lived such a full life and did so much. It is clear that he must have been very proud of Matt’s and your creative accomplishments as he was a man of many talents.

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