"How is your dad?"
We're going on three weeks since Dad died, which, in this age of social media, is nigh unto an eternity. So it never occurred to me that there might be people out there who didn't know.
Ah, silly me.
My department submits articles to a local trade publication, and it's my job (as Staff Writer) to make sure they're accurate and on-message. Once I'm sure they are, I send them to that publication's editor. And although we have never met in person, she and I have become friendly over email.
I had forgotten all about it, but I must've told her what was going on with my dad--probably to explain why I was sending her an article at the last minute in August or September.
Today is the deadline for the next issue, so I sent her a couple of articles. She responded with an email that, despite being both casual and kind, nearly knocked the wind out of me.
So there I was--again--having to report my father's death to someone. I made sure to thank her for asking, because I knew (because she is Minnesotan and also, y'know...HUMAN) that she would feel TERRIBLE for bringing it up. As if she was expected to glean this information from the very air or something. Or as if it brought back painful thoughts that aren't already constantly crowding the edges of my consciousness like naughty children wanting absolution.
No, I really am so very glad she asked--it's just another example of the amazing support system known as #TeamEric. But I'm also very glad I keep a box of tissues right beside my computer monitor.