My father-in-law, Homer Ray Boggs (he hated “Homer”) was more than a father-in-law. He was one of my best friends. We had a lot of great times together with and without Maureen and Sarah.
Ray died September 12, 1992 after a year-long bout with cancer of the esophagus. Being Mister Mom, i had the time to walk with him through most of that year including his treatment. i spent his last coherent night and day with him before the morphine gave him a painless end.
He and i were about as close as two men connected by one’s daughter and one’s wife could get. i also was the executor of his estate and with the help of Maureen and his son Danny, made all of the arrangements for his cremation and life celebration.
Because of my duties immediately after his death, i held it together: too many things to get done and too many people to tend to.
Danny and i went to Singing Hills golf course to arrange for spreading Ray’s ashes on the hole where Ray had gotten his first of six hole-in-ones, Oak Glen #6. Danny was walking ahead to the pro shop when we passed the 18th on the executive Pine Glen course where Ray played his last round with our friend Jim Hileman and me two weeks before he passed
i felt a lump in my throat, could feel the tears welling up with the emotion coming over me. i stopped, looked at the fairway, and it was like a voice talking inside my head. The voice told me to deal with Ray’s passing as Ray would want me to act. i knew how Ray would have wanted me to act. Crying and becoming emotional were not what he would have wanted me to do. He would have wanted me to rejoice at the time we had together, to laugh and share fun and warm memories.
The tears never got outside. i regained my composure and made it through the immediate events and the longer estate closing minutiae calmly and always feeling good about Ray’s and my times together.
i am sure Ray was glad i did. i think he’s still smiling.
i’ve had to deal with that a number of times since and it worked pretty well. i also have related this story to friends and family when they suffered such a loss. I hope it helped them.
i’m posting this here because i’m hoping it might offer others some solace in considering how to deal with a loss of a friend, relative, or loved one.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.