It is late – the time I am usually in bed, or at least going to bed. But tonight brought surprises, and I have these words roiling around that need to be expressed.
My daughter called me tonight. She had news about her father, my former husband, a man who had separated himself from us, from all that he had known. His parents had both passed, his brother died from alcoholism, he was living alone and, from what I can gather, his life was sad. My daughter had Googled his name and county of residence, and what she found was an obituary. From August of 2018. The obituary stated he died in the hospital on that date.”No family came forward.”
He died, from causes unknown, alone. Apparently he had no documentation that listed either myself or his children as family, as contacts.
We have had no contact for many many years. He had some contact with the kids for awhile, but it was sporadic and usually when he needed help, for a few years, but that diminished.
I am awake now, when I should be sleeping, thinking about passages. Thinking about living a life that leaves you completely alone. With no one to say goodbye, no one to miss your presence. I cannot imagine. I feel an infinite sadness.
I cannot imagine. Seventy-eight years of living, to die alone? What leads us to choose paths that lead to this? How do we get there? If I had known, I would have responded. But what could I have said? I know nothing of his last years – 50 years maybe? No, it can’t have been that long, but close to it.
If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it? If a life passes without anyone to acknowledge it, did the life exist?
How do we pass in such an alone manner? How do we pass with nothing? A life without enough.
Questions without answers.