In Loving Memory of Randall William Nichols [Sr.]

My dad died today [May, 10, 2009].

I've been trying to think of what to type here. I'm just going to go with something straightforward.

My grandmother knocked on my door a little after noon, opened the door, and asked if I was there. She couldn't see because her glasses were tinted, and I had the curtains closed. She asked me if anyone had called -- I didn't think so, but I was pretty out of it. I had started sleeping again on Friday-Saturday, and was trying to take advantage of that while I could. Without saying much else, she left.

My uncle [Roger, my dad's brother] and his wife knocked on the front door not long after that. It took me a minute to compose myself, and when I opened my bedroom door, I met them both face to face. They said something to the effect of "Your grandmother needs you at your dad's house," which is, even with a sleep-addled brain, a strange statement. I asked what they were talking about, and the reiterated that my Grandmother needed me there.

I'm a pretty resistant person. I asked why again, and they told me my dad had died.

I took my time getting dressed after that. There didn't seem to be any reason to hurry. There was a crowd at Dad's house, and my grandmother told me the only reason she didn't say anything when she opened the door was because she didn't want to tell me and just leave. And I felt somewhat... thankful for that. Rest of the day sort of went from there.

I don't know what killed him. We'll probably find out from the ME in the next couple of days. He was only in his fifties. He wasn't healthy, but he wasn't so sick that anyone was expecting this. He was a cancer survivor. He was on a lot of different medications for a lot of different things, and though the things weren't fatal, maybe the pills were. Maybe it was a heart attack, or an aneurysm. I don't know. The reason why isn't that important to me right now -- the end's still the same.

Not sure what to do next. Some things will happen naturally. Family will come on their own. But I need to be there for my grandmother. She's a strong woman, but she's outlived her oldest son and I can't imagine that. And a lot of things that I took for granted while dad was here, I'm going to have to figure out how to do without him.

Little things are creeping in too. The way he'd shakes his head, and say "yeah." That's what I'm thinking about right now. It wasn't something most people did, a full-body movement for an affirmative. I don't know.

I miss him.

I wonder if this place is going to become a mausoleum?

I don't know if I'll post more this week. Maybe yes, maybe no. Feel scattered, might need it. Might not be able to stand it.

P.S. Couldn't think of a way to work this in. My brother Aaron, and my step-dad, Doug, stopped by to check on me. Can't say I felt better after, but it was nice. Meant a lot. Lot of people were in and out all day, but I want to remember that one.

4 comments :: In Loving Memory of Randall William Nichols [Sr.]

  1. Sorry for your loss. I fortunately have a timeframe with which to define the final days of my father. Somehow makes it easier to know.

  2. I can't even tell you how sorry I am to hear this. Hang in there, man. No matter what anyone tells you, it's going to be painful and weird for a while. Grieve however you need to and don't let anyone tell you how to feel. It will heal a bit in time, and hopefully you can remember the good times and be happy that you guys got to share your interests- comic book nerds till the end. I know your dad, despite the tough times you had together, was an important part of your life. He was a good guy, and he will be missed. My folks send their condolences, and if there is anything we can do to help you through this difficult time let me know.

  3. I don't know if you'll post more this week or even return to the site in that time frame. Take care of yourself, Randall. I'll try to get in touch with you tomorrow or the next day. You know all the routes to contact me if there's any little thing, like just ranting at somebody from a safe e-distance, you want.

  4. R-
    I just read your post, and I am incredibly sorry for your loss. In lieu of any general statements about death, know that you're in my thoughts. We may have had a disagreement recently, but you're still a close friend and if you need me, I'm here.
    Take care of yourself.