For not only did I loose my father, my grandfather lost his son, my aunt lost her brother, my mom's numerous family lost one person that they all universally loved and liked a lot, and his friends and colleagues lost a loyal and good friend and co-worker.
And that was what has sort of taken me aback the most at the day of his funeral - how many people showed up to pay respects because my father was an important part of their lives as well. His friends from childhood, high school, university, his co-workers. I guess I knew he was a well liked guy, I just didn't realize how much so.
Loosing a parent is never easy, regardless of their age when they die. Loosing your spouse, however, is I think even harder and I can see that on my mom. She misses him the most.
Whenever I watch a basketball game or a tennis match, whenever I hear or read some poetry, whenever I hear talk of Russia, I think of my dad. I remember all the good times, I remember my childhood and I know he loved us both so much. I know he loved his granddaughters a lot as well and I'm sad for him and for them that he's not around to see them grow up.
But I also remember the bad stuff and all things he's done wrong which contributed to him leaving us that much sooner. I remember him telling me during his last days how much time he spent with unimportant people instead with us, me and my brother. He was genuinely sorry for that, I know. But I also know that I thought 'well, it's a little late for that now, isn't it?'.
I don't harbor grudges. Any that I had are long buried and forgotten. I have forgiven my dad for everything a long time ago, long before he died. I'm just sorry I didn't tell him that in so many words.
I said my good bye the night before he died but I didn't say it out loud for fear of stirring him from that semi-conscious state he was in. I wanted to say 'I love you dad', but I didn't, at least not out loud. And I regret that a lot.