a Found Picture of my Dad

John Blivins Jr

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one, before. This photo is definitely not the way I remember him; he didn’t have much gray hair until the first round of chemotherapy, and I guess this one was taken between then and when the cancer came back. It’s funny looking, to me. He looks so much more like my grandfather in this picture than I ever picture him, mentally.

Then again, photographs do have a way of distorting reality. Right?

I am feeling sentimental today because a friend of mine lost her brother in a car accident. Ever since my dad died, I’ve been really funny about how I react when I hear that a friend has lost a family member or friend. Sometimes I make a big deal about it. Sometimes I don’t. But I always feel the same; without fail I rush back to the day that Dad died. When I say that I know how she is feeling right now, I am amazed at how viscerally I actually remember the feeling. That feeling of being wrapped in what feels like an enormous invisible blanket of fog. Breathing is difficult. Rooms spin. You can actually feel this fog on your skin; it tingles a little. Through it, everything is distorted. You are rendered dyslexic, and seem to acquire an attention deficit disorder; you can’t focus on anything but the now, and every second feels like an hour. You almost sob with relief when you get through a day. And boy. It takes so long to fade away. So goddamned long. It does fade, though. It really does.

Joss Whedon became one of my top ten heroes when he wrote and directed “the Body”, an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that dealt with Buffy’s mother’s death. It’s the truest artistic depiction of what the feeling of losing someone is like that I’ve seen, believe it or not. Fortunately, one can’t fully appreciate the filmwork until they’ve experienced a death so close to them. But watching it now is oddly comforting. It’s proof that I’m not alone, that I am not the only one that has been that close to a death.

(Crys, you’re not alone, today.)