Last Thursday, I went to see my daddy’s grave. He died 42 years ago and I have only been to his grave a
couple of times – if that is the right word for a filedrawer in a marble wall – but I was in the neighborhood taking pictures for Michele, had some time, and Father’s Day was coming up.
He is at the Gardens of Eternity, a Jewish cemetery, in the necropolis of Colma. The first time I went to see him, I couldn't find him. When I got to where I thought he was and looked up at all the 2’ by 2’ niche covers with
people’s names on them, I saw my grandparent's niches, I saw my aunt Minette’s niche; but not my daddy’s. I
must have walked around the area 3 or 4 times, looking at every name on every
I finally found him around the corner from the family. At the time, I wrote, There, around the corner from the rest of the family, was
Daddy. Alone, in this small little
space. It was so sad. Just standing there, looking at my daddy’s
little niche with
It felt like he was not there; that he was very,
very, gone. I touched his neatly bifurcated name with my
fingers and I felt so alone. The letters
were cold and unequivocal.
Last Thursday, I had the same feeling. I was more prepared for it, but I still had the same feelings of loss. I never
really knew my father. I wish I had. He was what we used to call a proud man meaning he was not a person who talked about his inner life. So his fears, hopes, disappointments, and dreams were all unknown to me – and, I think, everybody else.
Now, I am more than eight years older than my daddy was when he died.