I was sitting on the toilet clipping my toenails when my brother called to tell me they were pulling the plug on Dad. “Pack your bags bro…” is how that conversation started. A few minutes later he called again, this time to ask me if I wanted to say goodbye to my father before they let him go. My brother held his cell phone to my father’s ear and I had about fifteen seconds to say goodbye. I fell to the floor in tears. Head spinning, I paced around the back yard, mowed the lawn, noticed the two doves struggling to make a nest on my back deck and the two new rosebuds (the first of this Spring) that popped up overnight. Next thing I’m in the air between El Paso and Albany, writing up a draft of the obituary. Then I’m doing my Mom’s taxes, working on the eulogy with my siblings, singing at the funeral service, carrying my father’s casket through the pouring rain to the grave site. Of course it was all difficult, heart-wrenching, and beautiful too. All my time on this planet, until now, my father has been here with me. Even across the miles, he’s been here, somewhere. Now he’s gone. Not here, not anywhere. And even though I’m surely not alone, I feel as if I’ve been dropped off in the middle of nowhere, left to find my way back home. But “home,” by definition, has always been the place where my father is, and so I’m lost. Heaven is a comforting idea, for those who believe, but I’m not looking for comfort. My father is dead and I’m trying to find my way home, to a real place on this planet, where I can live and breathe and be wide awake under the real shining sun, doze and dream under real stars. I may be lost, but I’ll find my way, eventually. When I get there, it’s not going to be the same without you, Dad.