I took Princess Sophie to the park yesterday afternoon – whatever else may be going on in the world, dogs still need to be taken to the park. So to the park we went.
The sun was shining. the grass was green. There were children playing in the park. Some were playing baseball, others some sort of other ball game, and still others were on the play sets or just running around and laughing and having fun.
There were lovers walking hand in hand. A couple was on a blanket sharing a bottle of wine. Others were talking and doing all sorts of things.
I wanted to scream at all of them. DON’T YOU KNOW? HOW CAN YOU BE PLAYING RUNNING LOVING LAUGHING AT A TIME LIKE THIS? Arthur Garvis died, and the world cannot continue.
Princess Sophie knew how I was feeling, and she nestled under my arm and asked me for a hug. She did not want to spend a lot of time at the park because she knew how I was feeling.
We came home.
How can the world go on? How can anything continue? My father is gone. This morning we lowered him into the ground and said our final goodbyes and he is gone forever.
There has never been a world without my father. How can there ever be a world without my father.
We came home and Princess Sophie did not do what she usually does. Usually when we come home from the park she meanders, she sniffs, she veers from the path, until eventually we get to our front door where she sits patiently waiting for me to open. Once she passes the door, she runs to the bedroom to attack her favourite toy Hedgie. Only after that do things return to normal.
That did not happen today. She walked into the living room and sat at the foot of the wall, in a place she had never to my knowledge sat before.
Over her novel perch are four photographs; two are of each of my sons, one is with me and my younger son, the last is of all three of us together.
If I could not think of any way this world could continue without my father, surely this is the way. There was no world without my father; now there will be no world without my sons.
The children can continue to play, the lovers may continue to rejoice, the sun will shine and the world will continue. The passing between these two states – the state where there was always my father to the state where he is gone but my children are here – is a difficult one. My boys loved their grandfather and are equally saddened by his passing. It is because of them that the world may continue to turn.
A fifth photograph was added to that wall yesterday evening. A picture of my father with his grandsons. The three smiling, happy, during the good times. The past, the future. The reasons for the world.