He filled me in on the circumstance in the returned call. Despite his father's poor health over the past decades, his death arrived unexpectedly. As he recounted what happened, I yearned to press for details but knew to do so would be in incredibly poor taste (my mother did manage to teach me a few manners).
He had a coronary while driving, his wife the only passenger. (Were they on a freeway? Highway? Country road? Close to town? Where were they heading? What was he wearing? Was it daytime or nighttime? Raining? Was the radio on? Sirius or XM? What were he and his wife discussing? Were they enjoying the day? Arguing? Laughing? Was their dog in the car with them?)
The wife was able to steer the car off to the shoulder of the road and safely stop. (How did she manage that? How fast were they going? Were there any other cars on the road? If so, could they tell something was wrong? Was she crying? Shouting? Was she talking to him when it began? What alerted her that something was wrong? Could he speak to her? Make eye contact?)
She dialed 9-1-1 and began CPR. (Did she have good signal strength on her cell? Was she calm? Did she stretch him out on the front seat of the car? How the hell did she manage to maneuver him? Had she had formal CPR training? Was he dead before she got the car stopped? Were his eyes open? Did anyone stop to help her? How long did it take the paramedics to arrive? How many of them were there? Male or female? Old or young? Did they declare him dead or was that done at the hospital? Did someone comfort her? What happened to the car? Did it get towed or did she pick it up from the side of the road later? Will she ever be comfortable driving it again?)
All those questions. I’ll never have answers. I have no need to know. It’s just morbid curiosity. Or natural curiosity. Is there a difference?
Another oddity of divorce in a family: who keeps in touch with whom? Who fades away to become someone I used to know? In the case of our family and our divorce, we all kept in touch rather closely while The Boy was younger. His dad wasn't great about making sure The Boy got over to see his grandparents on a regular basis. They were kind enough to include me in invitations for holiday gatherings and other occasions. With me came The Boy. Doh. But I enjoyed participating and always felt welcome. They are good people and it was important to me for The Boy to know that side of his family.
But by the time his high school years rolled around The Boy was so busy, we didn’t see his father’s family very often anymore. It was hard enough keeping up with my own. Distance was a factor. Everyone had moved a bit south and we had moved a bit north. His dad still wasn’t good at making sure The Boy got over to see his grandparents on a regular basis. We made do with minor contact on big special occasions.
I guess today is one of those big special occasions as I feel compelled to attend his memorial service, particularly since The Boy cannot.
And perhaps because a cake is better with icing, someone else died today. This morning actually. Dealing with that will have to wait. Well, dealing with the body will happen now but dealing with the loss will happen later.
I'm on autopilot.
I heart autopilot.