Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Year Has Passed

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the death of my dad, Don Amsler. I suppose that you can say time has flown, and in a way it has. We have had an entire year of “firsts”. First Thanksgiving without him and his always thoughtful Thanksgiving homily. First Christmas without him. The first time I wasn’t able to call him on his birthday to wish him a happy day. I need not go on.

I am not the first person to lose a parent to quick illness. What we have all experienced this year is experienced by so many others. And yet, if you asked all those other people, I would guess that they all feel as I have felt this last year, as if it is a singular event to lose a parent. Perhaps it is because I had him in my life until almost the middle of my 50’s. Who knows. The knife edge of grief has dulled over the past twelve months but the ache is still there, the sorrow that occasionally overwhelms at the oddest moments. I have a feeling that will always be the case. I have yet to be able to listen to the last voicemail he left me, about a week before his death, when he was already in the hospital and so very ill. I listened to it that day and thankfully didn’t erase it. He didn’t sound himself, being deep into his pneumonia, but he still sounded like my dad. And he laughed at how horrible he knew he sounded. That would be so like him, to laugh at something like that at a time when he was in such tremendous pain. I have taken the precaution of copying that voicemail onto my computer in an Mp3 format, just to make sure that it is not lost at some point. Apple doesn’t transfer over voicemails and sometimes the iphone just eats them for no apparent reason other than plain cussedness.

Below I have embedded (hopefully) my remarks at his celebration of life. I don’t think there is anything else to say except,

I miss you, Dad, more than words can ever truly express.


  1. My brother and I recently discussed our lose of our mother. As he said, it was the worst day of his life, and he knows the pain won't go away for the rest of his life. I feel the same. I think the pain becomes a part of you, and as you said surfaces at the oddest of times, but also when you would expect it, like anniversaries and finding out that my daughter is pregnant again. (Yeah, that's six for her). I think of her often. The memories are so precious, aren't they.

    1. You guys are going to be grandparents again!! Yeah!!!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, Cousin, I know that you do. Your dad and mine are currently enjoying a rollicking good conversation about now I am thinking.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your deep heartfelt sadness. I understand. I lost my Dad 15 years ago at holiday time. It is still difficult - some years more than others. Such a touching and moving tribute to your Dad and it was really neat to hear your voice. When I read your blog, it will be that voice that I hear now. I imagine your Dad has met mine by now - my Dad loved his glass of wine, too!

    (It took me a really long time before I could sit on my Dad's side of the bed when visiting my Mom. I still have all his business files - an entire four drawer filing cabinet full - untouched. When my Mom took his wool scarf from college to the church rummage sale, I snatched off a table when I spied it there. We all have things we need to help us remember...)


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