How can it be seven years since Georg left? But here it is. I remember that week of his death like it was yesterday. He died very late in the evening of September 26, 2013 at Memorial Hospital in Shebogyan. He had been disintegrating physically for about a week or so prior. He could no longer swallow water without choking, his bones were crumbling and coming unhinged inside his body. Pain was everywhere.
I remember that my friend Brenda suggested to me that instead of saying to him, “Hang on, Dad, we’ll get through this,” I might consider telling him, “It’s okay, Dad, you can let go.” So I did. Later that night, he died. I hate the thought that mom and I had left him in his hospital bed, looking a little bit more cheerful since the doctor had come in at 8:30 and asked us all if Georg wanted to sign a “do not resuscitate order,” just in case. He smiled and nodded yes. So, he signed. Now he had double permission. Mine and the medical profession’s. He was free to go. Mom and I were happy to see him smile, so we went and got root beer floats in his honor. A few hours later, the nurse called me. Root beer floats have never been the same.
I’ve been thinking about Georg a lot lately, especially while I’m driving. It’s as though he often joins me in the car. I wonder why that is. He is suddenly there with me and I just start crying because I miss him. I want him to really be there with me. And he always says, I am really here. In fact, he is saying it right now as I type.
I was down at the lake at sunrise the other morning, and I wrote a poem in his honor. On the occasion of the seventh anniversary of his death, I will share it here.
Memory of My Father at the Lake
We were nearing the end of you
You knew it, I knew it
but it was not something
we talked about.
We came down to this very shore
with sandwiches and a couple beers.
Looking out at the lake,
you said, Let’s make one more road trip.
Knowing this would never happen,
I said, Yes! Let’s do it!
Now it is sunrise and you,
seven years gone.
The lake calls me to remember,
gently undulates on and on.
An immense liquid mirror of the sky,
delivering a bridge to the sun,
reflecting you and me
and all of creation
in the wave of its hand.
No words can even begin to sum up all that Georg was to me, all the doors that he opened through his art. I introduced Dad to my therapist, Dan, that summer when Death was lurking. Dad was languishing at Morningside Rehab Center and we met in the drab little common room with the couches and the big color TV. Months and months later, after Georg was long gone, Dan told me that it had seemed to him that summer that Georg’s spirit was already gone. That was in May of 2013. Dan also said that Georg had a strong connection to other realms and you could see them peeking through his art. His paintings were glimpses into other dimensions of light, sound, and vibration. Yup. I believe it.
When he left this plane of existence, Georg knew full well where he was going.
9 thoughts on “Seven Years”
I’ve been reflecting this morning on my dad’s life. How he struggled with arthritis for many years but was able to endure. And how I’m now feeling some of his pain and am able to appreciate him even more.
As always, thank you for
On Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 7:33 AM Lisa Vihos: Poet and Activist wrote:
> lisavihos posted: ” How can it be seven years since Georg left? But here > it is. I remember that week of his death like it was yesterday. He died > very late in the evening of September 26, 2013 at Memorial Hospital in > Shebogyan. He had been disintegrating physically for about” >
your inspiring words. (sorry, but somehow I hit send before I completed my last thought.
Thank you so much Greg. We have been enjoying the tomatoes very much!
Beautiful, moving words. Made me pause and think about both my parents. Thank you.
Oh Toby, thank you so much. It’s great to hear from you. I was thinking about you just the other day. Let’s try to get in touch.
Awesome Lisa, I loved your Dad and feel honored he did a painting for me, I will cherish it forever!Have a peaceful evening and weekend!😇💖Sent from Samsung tablet
Great to hear from you Diane, thank you!
Ah V, such a beauteous po-em and touching post. Thank you for writing and sharing. I want to catch up with a chat but we are now 5 hours apart in time zones (I’ll try this winter!) For now, I’ll share a couple “images”: a snapshot (I still have somewhere) of you in overalls as a freshman in a dorm room in Main, close-in against the backdrop of your two artist-parents, Georg in his signature cap. Then, maybe my first-ever visit to NYC that same Fall to Georg’s loft on the Lower Eastside–imagine!–me, from then-provincial Seattle–how lucky and vast! (If I didn’t express it then, I can now.) Then, us, after college, in a cornfield at your dad’s place near Ann Arbor; he tore off ears of corn, insisting for us to eat raw straight off the cob. When I collect feathers, it is with him and you in mind. I still have the article he gave me, “Lions in Winter,” about elder artists; now it inspires me since I am old, too, and understand the depth of this development stage. I’m glad you still have him. Aloha -H
Oh Heidi! I so dropped the ball on the last time we communicated. I’m sorry. Interesting you should mention the “Lions In Winter” article. I am continually sifting through boxes of my dad’s papers and I came across that very article the other day. I was going to toss it and I thought, “no. I should keep this.” I haven’t even read it. I just knew I should keep it. I love the things you remember about Georg. The corn! That is something I only very barely remember. But now that you mention it, I can totally believe it happened. Much love, V