Death and all his friends

About death. My father.


1. Death And All His Friends


In all honesty. I never thought that this would be the first text I publish here. I thought it would be this story that has been in my head since August. But that story has no end, not yet. But since today Friday 13th was that day that was so strange I guess it makes this text suitable for publishing here. 


I think of my dad. He passed almost nine years ago. And they mentioned him today. I think of him every day. I do, for real. I don't really speak of him in that way though. I mention him when I talk sports. Football it is. Manchester United. When I play poker, since he thought me how to play poker. I am an awesome poker player. When I start calculating profit in businesses, which are not mine. He always did that. "What is the profit of that concert" he would ask. And he started calculating the costs for renting a certain venue, ticket prices and so on. And here I am, thinking about how he did all that and I do the same thing. I am a lot like my dad in that way. Stubborn, mathematic, loud. Oh God he was loud. That man could not whisper. And he loved to yell at me. And I yelled right back. It was okay. I guess. A few days later we watched a Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill movie and laughed. So I knew that our relationship was okay. But I never got to know him. Not that person people say he was. I knew my father. I was about to get to know the person behind the father part. I was 16 when they said he was sick and I was 18 when he passed.


And they mentioned him today. How they went to see him a few days before I graduated from high school and they asked him about his wishes and he had answered that he had no wishes they were all gone and that he only wanted to see me in my graduation hat. He died 4 weeks after my graduation. I have not cried since he died. I don't really cry when it comes to the death of my father. I cry watching Grey's Anatomy but not thinking of my father. For me I think it is a point in life when I simply accepted the fact that he is gone. Along came this hole in my chest and I learned to live with it.  But, today, when they mentioned him. All I could remember was the smell in his room. The smell of cancer. I never thought I would say this, or write this down. But cancer has this smell. This horrible smell. Old flesh and morphine. I worked in a hospital for almost four years and now and then when they brought a patient that smelled like that, I felt it in my core. That smell, almost smell of death. Yet it did not affect me to that point where I would be sad or sorry. It only reminded me that it is one of the last things I remember of my father. That smell.


And they mentioned him today. And when they did. My day collapsed. I didn't know him in that way. I really didn't I wish I did. But not having a father, today, just made me feel like there is a part of me that never really made it all the way through. It is gone. And I always thought I had accepted it. I guess I was wrong. Maybe I will wake up tomorrow feeling a totally different feeling. But today I am just as empty as I was that day when they told me, at 16 years, that my father was sick and I had to be strong and understanding. I was a teenager. Understanding, I was not.


My mother’s friend died today. Such an unfair way to die, for a woman that was around 50. She didn't have any kids so she spoiled her brother’s children. She was my friend’s aunt. My friend is a mess. And all I could see in front of me were the images I have in my head after my father’s death. All the people. I think that is the moment in my life when I started hating people. In our culture when someone dies everyone you know will come to your home. Some of them because they care. Others, just to be able to say they were there. I sat in my room most of the time. My friend was here. He is an ex boyfriend of a friend of mine. She had asked him to be here since she was not. He was good to me. A real friend. My mother never got that. She always said that girls and boys could not be friends. My mother is from another world I think. But that is not relevant right now. The people that came to my home are. I can almost swear that there were at least 40 people here every day for a week. That is, and now I am calculating like my father, 280 Bosnians in my house in seven days. The woman that died today she was here because she truly wanted to be here. When someone dies people come and do the basic stuff for you. They make coffee for other guest, wash dishes. They cook food and feed the family in grief. I do like the food part. My mother does not like cooking so she will never make food as good as the typical Bosnian house wife. My mother is an educated and smart woman. And the lack of cooking skills don't really bother me I prefer my mother. I can learn to cook on my own. But still, that is the only part of death that I don't mind. The food. Probably because I am a person who eats when she's sad. And there was a lot of food in my home then. We were in some shock I guess. I remember my mother being constantly high on some sedatives that someone got her from Bosnia. She was pretty much high on them a few months after his death. They were married for 20 years and dated 7 years before they got married. He was 46 when he died. It was an unfair way to die. Cancer always is. You can get well, but it can always come back and surprise you and no matter how much money you got if it was meant to tear you apart it probably will. 


Yet they mentioned him. In the most simple way they could. My graduation and that wish he had. It was the only wish he had left. And I knew that. It was a little wish. Most kids get this big party when the graduate. I didn't. Some family friends were here there was cake. And my father’s bed. They got him a bed from the hospital. You know, when they bring someone that bed. It's done. It is the end. You just keep telling yourself that it's not and they got it for him so that he will be comfortable. But that is a lie. That bed only represented death. He was pretty much lost the last days. And he was high on painkillers. And that smell. He was in so much pain in the end. They gave him really high doses of medicines so that he would be asleep. And he died. At home. With my mother by his side. We buried him in Bosnia. He said that the soil in Sweden was too cold for his body. He needed the sun and we did as he wished. And just like the home visits, the funeral had so many people. I didn't need them. But they came. My father knew many people. He had many friends. He was a good business man. He had a degree in economy. He knew his job really well. He was funny. Had humor. He wanted me to be good at math. I was okay. My sister is so much better. And there we were at that funeral. With so many people and this photographer. Now I do not understand why people take pictures at funerals. But that is another Bosnian thing to do. 


I could go on writing about the different happenings around death. About everything but the feelings in me. I cannot pronounce them. Not yet. I am not there yet. I have yet to reach that point in my life where I can honestly say what I felt that day, that week or that month. I felt too much I assume. I do remember being so terrified of the flight we were on. It was so much turbulence I did not fly for almost four years. Death is not only when someone dies. It is so much more. I can also state that it was a comic tragedy. I could, in fact, make a truly funny movie solely based on ten of our guests after my father’s death. But I am not there yet. I did not know my father more than that he was my father, I could not justify him in any way more than say that he was a funny man that liked Clint Eastwood movies and thought his 4-year old daughter to play poker. He did. And I loved it. I do not have it in me to write more than this confusing part. In my head it is so obvious. For others it might just be bullshit. For me, as they mentioned my father, this is exactly what came up in my head. Telling me to put this down somewhere and let my heart rest. I noticed every single detail when my father died. I do that, notice details in everything. It is who I am. I am afraid that if I miss one detail I will miss a lot. And since life is so short I let myself notice details in everything.


It changed me. I am not what I thought I would be today. I had this job interview. I don't really care if I get it. I do need the money. But I don't really care. It really is the last thing on my mind tight now. I am not that person today, that one that only wants money. No matter what or how much money I have. Death and all his dearest friends will find me. And it will be a story for someone else to tell. For now, this is my story. There will be so many more. But this one is all I got in me now.


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