Can we have a picture of him?
Next to the priest.
Three weeks before her wedding her heart broke a little. Her soon-to-be-husband would never hear her father’s voice. Never feel his touch or smell his unique earthiness. Never see his mischievous smile when he was feeding the dogs under the table.
Can you show me a video?
I’d like to hear him speak.
Three years after his death she realised she had no videos anywhere. Her soon to be husband wanted to meet his father-in-law – virtually. Not because they were in times of Covid, but because he was no longer with them.
Can we ask someone?
I’d ask your mum.
Three days into one of the hardest bouts of grief yet, she mustered up the strength to ask her mother. Her beautiful-strong-fragile mother, who had loved her father unconditionally.
And she sent everything.
All the videos she had stored on her phone. All the photos she could find in her drawers. All the letters she unearthed in her many shoe boxes. She sent the documentation of her love for him. And the husband-to-be got to learn about his father-in-law – mostly that he made him laugh.
The funniest video?
He was sitting in a restaurant they used to have many family meals at, and he looked quite suspicious. Fumbling with the food on his plate, looking around, as if he was about to perform a criminal act. When he seemed to be sure, nobody was watching him, clearly missing the fact that her sister was filming him, he suddenly scooped up the food he had been toying with and let it slip under the table – feeding the dogs.