My Dad Just Died!

Well, Darling Ones,

My dad died so early on Friday, September 16th it still felt like Thursday night.

He died after Sister #4 got here from South Dakota but before Sister #2 arrived from Oregon.

Before he died, my dad agreed to see us, finally giving up the grudge he had been holding onto since June. So, Sister #4 got to say goodbye and make peace with him. We are happy she had that opportunity since she was the one who really needed it. I opted not go see him on his deathbed and when Sister #4 came home she said it was good I didn’t go.

My mom said he died peacefully and that’s the best you can hope for, right?

I am not in the head space to write about this linearly, to weave a cohesive narrative about the days following the death of my dad.

My dad just died! How can I write something good? That is an excuse and exclamation we lobbed at each other all week.

“Jaycie, will you get my some water? My dad just died.”

Anytime someone said something that didn’t quite make sense, something roastable, or forgot what they were doing they shouted, My dad/grandpa/husband/father-in-law just died.

My family’s love language is teasing in a manner that is never meant to be hurtful (though sometimes that happens), only hilarious. So whenever you got roasted you just shouted MY DAD JUST DIED!

It started in the wee small hours after Dad died, we’re talking like 4 a.m., Sister #4 asked me how we would get Dad’s ashes. I said they’d mail them.

She was all, “What?! Like two-day free shipping?”
“Yeah,” I said. “They mail ashes all the time.”
“Really?” She asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“How do you know?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “My dad just died!”
“So did mine!”

And thus a family meme was started. Is that a meme? I’m too lazy to look it up.

I have a file in my google drive called “Dad’s Obit” and that’s something I never thought of even as I contemplated his death.

Also, if you really want to get me heated up in a non-sexual way ask me what I think about the gross way capitalism has commodified death and how expensive newspaper obituaries are.

We joked about how I’m so cheap I just wanted it to say, “Dad=Dead.” We shouted “Dad’s dead” a lot too, constantly doing the Aunt Jackie bit from the “Roseanne” episode where their dad died.

I had more things I wanted to get down in pixels, but I have since forgotten them. My dad did just die, after all.

Please do not ask me how I am doing, because I am not doing. At all. Mostly, I am crushing candy and blitzing emojis on my phone while singing “Girl Inform Me” on repeat in my head. I have no idea why my brain chose that song.

I am not sure how I am doing. From what I can tell I am numb and sad and overwhelmed and exhausted both physically & mentally.

I really wanted everyone to get the hell out of my house right up until Sister #2, Ben, and Jaycie left yesterday. Now, I’m going through that with Sister #4. I want her to go home but am also freaking out that she’s leaving Sunday.

For the most part that’s an accurate description of how I’m doing: two diametrically opposed things at the same time. I want everyone to leave but I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want anyone to ask how I am but I want everyone to acknowledge that my dad just died and I’m grieving. I want to get back to “real life” but I don’t want to work because I am mourning.

I have so many things I want to write but I’m too tired to really think clearly.

My dad just died & it sucks.


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  1. Heather 22.Sep.22 at 4:33 pm

    I love you. I see you. I feel all of this.

    I’ve totally used the “my mom is dead” excuse more than once this summer and I don’t feel at all bad about it. My mom just died!

    Also, fuck the cost of obituaries. It’s gross.

    1. Jodi Chromey 23.Sep.22 at 12:21 pm

      SO GROSS! Like I expected it to be expensive, but really? It feels egregious. And the fact that our newspaper bills it as an ad makes it even grosser. My dad just died, can’t they at least be less gross?

  2. Amy 22.Sep.22 at 5:31 pm

    Thursday. Of course. Much love to you.

    1. Jodi Chromey 23.Sep.22 at 12:19 pm

      Yes. I am convinced it will never not be Thursday.

    2. Tanya 23.Sep.22 at 6:35 pm

      I’m sorry for you and your family’s loss, as complicated as it sounds.

      Morbid humor is a time-honored, mother-approved way of getting through grief. At least in our family.

      Newspapers are dickheads when it comes to obituaries. We ended up with a very long public post on Facebook for Nick’s grandpa J and I was waiting for someone to respond with, “I’m not reading all that but I’m happy for you or sorry that happened.”


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