Dad wanted me to tell you it’s totally real.

He woke me from a dream and dragged me to the living room as if he had every right to. I hadn’t slept much the past few weeks, what with him dying and the kids’ wedding and work. I also haven’t written much lately but hey, I’ve been kind of busy, Dad.

So I got up here at 245am, apparently at your request, and I’m sitting in front of my laptop asking for a little help. Yes, I took off work today to help with the family’s plans for your memorial service tomorrow morning and except for the ding of the coffee maker just now, there are no bells going off on what was so urgent that you had to call me from what might have otherwise been a good night’s sleep.

Angels don’t sleep, do they? Actually, that wasn’t really a question, but rather more of a statement. I know, because you’ve been all around me day and night since you died, Dad. I haven’t said much to anyone about it because I didn’t think they would believe me and just write it off to some crazy bereavement psychosis. After all, it’s not even been two weeks since you’ve been gone and I still cry when I close the car door a certain way and when I breathe air.

I’ve never lost anyone close to me until you. I’d read all the crazy accounts of people saying they continue to feel the presence of those they loved at the strangest moments, sometimes always. And either I’m just experiencing the newness of grief or this shit is real.

Last week when I was up at 245am writing my father of the bride toast for the wedding, you recall I felt something and looked behind me as I was thinking what to write next. I turned back to the laptop and wrote the funniest line of the toast. You should have seen the room laughing at the reception, Dad. But you’ve always been my inspiration to be funny and I’m sure you saw the whole thing and were proud. After all, it was a line only you would have written.

I heard you laugh yesterday. I was napping on the sofa and it woke me up. I probably should have laughed right along with you but the tears wouldn’t let me.

So now I’m a believer in spirit guides, Dad. Isn’t that crazy? I mean even you, when you were alive, laughed stuff like that off as nuts. So now that makes two of us as converts I guess.

I think of you and feel you when I’m driving, when I’m making even the most routine decisions, in meetings at work and when I’m watching TV. You’re a still small voice…a second conscience of sorts….at least that’s the best way to describe it from this side. And I always see your face when it happens, which looks remarkably like my own these days.

So now percolating on my third cup of coffee with no turning back to bed for the day, I ask you: Is this what you wanted me to write? Is this why you woke me up and dragged my ass to the living room at this silent hour? Did you want me to write and tell people that this stuff really is real?

There’s your face again.
I think they actually might believe me.

Thanks Pop. You make me cry as much as you make me laugh. Tomorrow’s memorial is gonna be great and we saved the best seat in the house for you.