Celebration of My Father’s Life Leads to a Moratorium on My Writing

And a renewed respect for the grief process

Merre Larkin
ENGAGE

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Adult with her parents in 2014 with the Golden Gate Bridge behind them
Me with my dad and mom during their visit in 2014 (Photo provided by author)

My father passed away at the beginning of March, two months ago, after a painfully slow deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. We lost more and more of him with each passing year, month, week, day, minute, until the second he was gone.

A part of my heart feels like it went with him, leaving my heart’s beat altered. I haven’t yet adjusted.

My father’s celebration of life was held at the end of March in Pennsylvania, when all five of his children could attend, traveling from Maine, Maryland, and California. Thirteen of his fourteen grandchildren also were able to be there (my youngest had a work function he couldn’t miss).

We held it in the manner my father had requested. We hosted a buffet luncheon at a country club on a Saturday afternoon with only family and invited friends.

My mother was able to be there. One of my brothers brought her from the nursing home, where she continues to reside in the room she shared with my father.

It was a lovely event. My brothers each gave a speech about my father. My sister did. My other sister opted out. I followed all those who spoke with my own speech I’d been…

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Merre Larkin
ENGAGE
Writer for

Writer of nonfiction (memoir, essays), fiction, and poetry. Life/writing coach. Educator. Marathoner. Avid reader. Here to share, here to learn.