Template For My Elegy
- to be completed by my children upon my death
Dad was a ______ man who lived without _____. He collected ____ and never clung to a single ____. When it rained he had a tendency to _____. At his best he was a desert storm: brief, cataclysmic, quenching but____. When _____ , the world seemed brighter and he was the first to point out why. I remember him reading ____ to me at night. Afterward he would sing _____. He hated ____ adverbs. He emphasized ____ and form. His best qualities were ___ and _____, which rarely occurred together and when they did it became his worst quality. He was secretly _____ when I stopped calling him daddy. When he played with me I felt the _____ of his attention. He noticed how ____ always led to ____. He would say, watch, listen. Look at that. Pay attention. He liked to conjure an imaginary world of ____ that everyone else could ignore, at their peril. When he went to work I used to think _____. When he came home it was like ____ at the end of a long ____. He made us laugh. He was ____ at the hospital and sort of ____ when he came home, eating his re-heated dinner alone, late at night, bleary eyed, surgeon cap hair sticking up. He would sit in the garage and watch the rain. He thought he was good at ____ and no one had the nerve to tell him otherwise. His ____ used to drive us insane. Once, I looked out my window during a ______ and he was _____. When he was on, we all experienced an electrifying ______. He could make time disappear. His clouds cast darker shadows than most, though. His thunder was guttural, the volcanic rumble just before the deluge. Sometimes we looked for arks. When he was sad he reached for ____. When he cried he was like a little boy who had lost his favorite _____. He told us we could discern the important things from the unimportant by the ____ of their ____. He ____ joyously. He surreptitiously ____. He was afraid of ____. The best thing he ever gave me was a _____ that he had saved from _____. He made me promise never to waste it on anything ____. He was a conceptualist. He hated things. He lived in _____ ideas. He mourned the immaterial. Sometimes he made us feel like ghosts. He blamed his loss of faith on ____. I wish he had told me more about _____ and _____ and _____ and less about____. So much left unsaid. So many long wasted silences. He was reticent. He was shy. He didn’t fully believe in himself. He only believed in time. He never wore a ____. He used silence as a _____. He practiced long monologues in the car by whispering to himself. I used to pretend I didn’t hear. I wish I’d asked him to speak louder. He was hard on himself. He felt he was meant to suffer. He was hard on ____. He was ____. He was ____. He was ____. He was ____. He tried his best. He did suffer. He had a gaze that was tactile. He fiddled with his hands when ____. He loved his ______ . He loved _____. He loved.