I left the boat in Bob's care, while I flew home on the soonest possible flight back to Maine. My mom called me to come to be there, as my Dad was declining fast. As it turns out, my flight on Monday was just in time, because my Dad died at 9pm on Tuesday night, with family around him.
For a live-aboard, coming into a strange environment can simply mean that you have set foot on dry ground. Adding to that strangeness is the bizarre permeation of extreme cold, the darkness of the sky at this latitude, and dullness of clothes contrasted with the paleness of people.
Of course, the environment around somebody transitioning out of this life is the real factor. I will be experiencing delayed grief, due to the intensity of the last few days. None of us had any real time, to let our feelings come up, until about midway through the service, which was yesterday morning, when we all got through our speaking parts.
I played piano for an all sing to 'Try to Remember', and sang an a cappella solo on ; 'Suddenly There's a Valley', not an easy song, but it worked out. My sister Wendy read her own poem and Karen had some reminiscences, as did my late sister Lisa's son, Danny, who talked about his childhood relationship with Grampy.
We were all at our best, and, as these things tend to happen, we all relapsed last night. Too much delayed grief, wine, stress and chores contributed their part, and we reverted to lousy communication form.
It isn't ever good when material possessions become part of a family dispute, but it is nasty to deal with when the grief is fresh.
As a live-aboard, one good thing is that the boat is already full enough, so there is no question about my being able to take additional things on board.
Other people have more struggles about what they want as mementos. On a boat, you are in a living organism, in a way, almost like a mammal, and it rolls and pitches in the water. You learn to do with the basic needs getting covered.
I am glad to have my attic treasures back in Maine, but they have no day to day place in my life; that is reserved for adventures outside and in the transition zones, like the cockpit and deck. Life is simpler without so much stuff. Bob has been preaching this to me for awhile now, and it is becoming clear.
Although I sympathize with my family and their struggle around the 'things' that were in my Dad's life, I know that my Mom can handle all of that in her own good time. I trust her to make her own decisions.
Being on a boat is making me a better person. I am grateful for this new life, with all its restrictions. They are opening more to experiencing every new day.
I also know that my Dad is in my heart--he is with me as I go on this journey. What a freedom! What an adventure! This is how to share your life---put things in your heart, where there is always room.