Monday, March 15, 2010

Jim Steinhardt: March 25, 1917 - March 13, 2010

Right around midnight, as March 12th was slipping into March 13th, my father, Jim Steinhardt, cast loose his final earthly bonds and died.   He chose a quiet moment: my sister in the bathroom down the hall, ill; my mother asleep upright in her vigil chair, a half played game of solitaire splayed on the table before her; me not at the hospital, not even in the state  (but that story I’m not ready to tell yet.)  Lois said a wave of heat and nausea engulfed her in the bathroom, then passed, and when she came back into the room, she saw that our father was gone.

As per my father’s very atheist wishes, he will be cremated. There will be a memorial service for him, convenient on March 28th, so those coming in for Passover can visit with present family and ghost alike.  We will celebrate his life, his amazing body of photographic work, and maybe the birthday he nearly made it to.

I will tell more tales of before and after, soon. I have many half written entries lurking in my computer; also paper scraps covered in badly spelled, semi random phrases, proto-passages hastily scribbled lest my fleeting thoughts flee and leave my memory lacey and bereft.  These will all be carded, spun, woven into thoughtful posts, by and by. But for now this is all I am ready to say.  I am scrubbed clean by grief and exhaustion. And always, too, by the care of young children, which does not stop, not even for death.

So this will be my shortest post for a long and wonderful life. 

Rest in peace, my beloved father.