My father was laying in a casket, without the lid on, in a large chapel where all religious symbols had been removed. The sunlight was streaming in through the big windows, it was a unusually sunny day. Around the casket six large candles had been placed on safe distance so that one could walk between them and the coffin.
Someone had also put a red rose in his left hand. The right hand was covered, as the undertakers assistant told us, because it had been badly bruised and the bruises had torn when he had been stored in the freezer.
I was - thankfully - accompanied to this visit by my oldest niece, who is also a registered nurse.
My dad looked peaceful enough, but as if he had been in a fight at the end. The veins on his eyelids, closest to the lashes, were red and seemed to have burst. He also had two symmetrically placed bruises on his upper lip, which my niece informed me, was from when they had tried to resurrect him in the ambulance and at the hospital.
Dad was cold to the touch, as I felt when I held his hand and caressed his cheeks. One or two of the hairs in his left eyebrow were sticking out, which made me wish that I had brought a pair of small scissors along so I could have cut them. Instead I gently stroked them down and blended them with the rest of his left eyebrow.
Inside I was in complete and utter turmoil, my mind was moving fast through memories of dad from throughout my life. On the outside I must have appeared calm, a few small tears nothing more.
My father was a loving, caring and accepting father. He loved my mother, me and my siblings dearly and did everything he possibly could to protect us, save us and carry us. Dad also knew all my trigger points and was the only person who could - the few times that he wished to - drive me from calm serenity to a wild frenzy in 15 seconds flat, and then he would ask me calmly why I was so angry...
My niece and I only stayed about 20 minutes, not long at all considering. Outside the chapel we hugged and said a few words and then went each on our own way. She was going to pick up her kids from daycare, while I was going back to my mothers home.
Nine days after my father had passed away, on Friday, I suddenly realized one of the reason why I was in this strange state of feeling and thinking so much, but not expressing anything, as if I was cloaked in numbness over an uproar of torrential feelings. All was expressed in being much more tired and a slight irritability.
The reason was of course the antidepressants I have been on for 4,5 years now, since a couple of months after Ars died. 20 mg of Cipralex daily has an effect in the long run.
I felt terribly stupid for not having realized the connection earlier.