Dad

My dad died six days ago. I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around all of it. He was here and then he wasn’t and it just sucks so much.

What’s worse, in my mind, is knowing that as a genealogist, I have to update the various websites. I don’t want to, but I know I need to, and I have this sick compulsion to do it first. I know I’ll be angry if I’m not the one to do it and find that someone else took the liberty, but actually typing the date… I’ve logged in and started the edits on geni.com and our trees on Ancestry, but I can’t click save. He was here and then he wasn’t and it just sucks so much.

I have no idea what my dad thought of my genealogy obsession, though it was the discovery of his family history that started it all. When I went to Arizona to spend time with my mom while my dad was in a rehab facility, I thought I’d ask him if he’d submit a sample for Ancestry DNA. I never got to ask the question. As I landed and was en route to my parents’ house, my dad was being transferred back to the hospital. He was here and then he wasn’t and it just sucks so much.

At the funeral home where we arranged for his cremation, I learned that funeral directors can try to obtain a DNA sample from someone who has passed away. It was pricey compared to the regular spit-in-a-tube method used by Ancestry and other sites. I am super grateful I had the funds at my disposal to pay for the service and in a few months I’ll get more data to play with. It won’t replace my dad, not even remotely, but I feel like it’s a little something of his that I can keep forever, a little something to look forward to, I suppose. He was here and then he wasn’t and it just sucks so much.

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