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Today harks a new world, a world without my father. Something is different, even if everything looks the same. Our house is still strewn with the remnants of my birthday weekend: gifts, cards, a shiny balloon, half-eaten cake, a bottle of bubbly lying on its side and wrapped in pretty paper. There are still dirty dishes from the breakfast we had made for our friends, in the dishwasher that I had loaded in the hours of my father's death, when it was morning here and night there.

He had died from a heart attack. Was he in bed? Was he working on one of the computers he sold through Ebay? Did he feel pain, or was it peaceful? I read somewhere that during a heart attack a person will lose consciousness after 10 seconds. If he had those last 10 seconds of awareness, I hope he felt them as a brief moment of wonder, followed by something like the quick onset of a deep and peaceful slumber.

The loss of a parent is commonplace, but it feels extraordinary for me, for it had been an unimaginable event. I had assumed that I would always receive Dad's funny/odd emails, hear his voice on skype inquiring if I got a job yet, hug him one more time. The last time I saw him was 3 years ago, at my wedding in Ireland. I kept promising him I would see him soon, after my dissertation was submitted. I thought I would have time, time to talk, time to ask him questions about his past, to know more about the man who became my father.

In the evening Daragh and I went to Bundoran to go for a walk along the beach. The sunset was unreal, the most perfect sunset, a sunset made perfect by loss. When we returned, I emailed him, to tell him I miss him so much.


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