The last time I saw my father, I didn't know it would be the last time. We never know, do we? It comforts me that our last words were love. I love you, he said. I love you, I said. In love I was born, in love I hope to die.
Now that he is dead, my mind fears the last moments to come. When I hang up the phone after talking to my mother I wonder if that is the last time I will hear her voice. When we part, I wonder if that will be the last time I touch her. I save all her voicemails and texts. I must preserve what hasn't yet vanished. I must prepare myself for the unfathomable moment of her disappearance. And still it is not enough. I'm like a prophet: I can see it all before it happens, and I am terrified. I tell myself not to live this way, I tell myself there is still time, but the fear is always there--the fear of the last call, the last touch, the last moment.
And what were my father's last moments like? I think about them. When his body stopped, what did he feel inside? When the light lapsed and the life ceased and his heart went still, did he think of me or my mother or his own parents? When death came, did he know he was loved?
He died alone. I was not there. I was somewhere else. The sky was blue and I didn't feel a thing. He was destroyed and I didn't feel a thing.