As I was driving southbound on Highway 102 on Thursday afternoon, I kept thinking about how less than a year before, Dad had driven down this same road to come visit me for a day. It’s then that it dawned on me that there was no way in hell I could resume work the next day. The pit in my stomach made this conclusion easy to draw: I had to take the day for myself — perhaps go for a long walk or go on a nowhere with Junior, or just do whatever felt right …even if that meant doing absolutely nothing.

Arriving at the Fort Needham around 4 p.m., I fired up TextStyle1 to send Mom a quick e-mail to tell I’d made it home safely. Then I returned a few calls and told a few friends how I planned on going incognito the next day. It didn’t quite work out that way, though, but that’s because I chose not to. Therein I find a bit of irony: Although (or is it because?) my father was a man of few words, I felt an overwhelming need to talk about him — distant memories, thoughts of his last weeks among us, the funeral, how it feels to realize that he will not again have a little nap on my living room sofa…

So, when I left the Queen of Sheba a voice-mail message late yesterday afternoon, she called back as soon as she could and admitted to being surprised to hear from me. But she immediately asked if I was up to having supper, prepared, of course, by the Grand Poobah of Culimary Delights. As I was just about to step out to get myself a pizza, I readily accepted her kind invitation.

I realize that reading the blog of someone who’s bereaved isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. But allow me one long entry after this one to gather a few of my thoughts and feelings about an intensely personal event we all dread yet must live through in our lifetime.