a grave man

Day two of Dads continues on a bit of a sad note. Some Dads make more of an impact by exiting this world. Whether it be early or later the death of a father can leave quite a wake. I had two friends growing up who lost their fathers during our teenage years. Both of them sudden and completely unexpected and both really great men. I couldn’t quite comprehend what had happened but only lived in the aftermath of my friends’ confused and distraught feelings. I don’t know if I appreciated my own father more but I certainly could see how dealing with loss was not for the faint hearted. So today I am highlighting another funny book about a family that is brought together by the death of their father. Jonathon Tropper is a favorite of mine and This Is Where I Leave You is one of his best. In the father’s will he asks his family to sit shiva for seven days. This wacky family is forced to spend seven days and nights under the same roof. Needless to say hilarity ensues and isn’t humor the greatest medicine for loss? Here’s a little excerpt of Tropper’s genuis,

That’s kind of funny, actually, since Dad was not exactly prone to expressing gratitude to his children when he was alive. You were either screwing up or you were invisible. He was quiet and stern in that way that led you to expect an Eastern European accent. He had soft blue eyes and unusually thick forearms and when he made a fist it looked like he could punch through anything. He mowed his own lawn, washed his own car and painted his own house. He did all these things capably, painstakingly and in a way that silently passed judgment on anyone who paid for someone else to do it. He rarely laughed at jokes, just nodded his understanding as if it was all pretty much what he’d expected. Of course, there was a lot more to him than that, its just that none of it is coming to me right now. At some point you lose sight of your actual parents; you see a basketful of history and unresolved issues.

Here’s to all the Dads who shared their strengths and weaknesses while here with us.

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