He’s Not Here Anymore

desert

© Jan Wayne Fields

“What did you hope to find after a year?”

The question was rhetorical or maybe self-indulgent. He was alone, unlike a year ago when they all gathered to scatter his Dad’s ashes over the land he loved so much. He thought about leaving another rose, but it would just wither and serve no one.

What then?

“Maybe this is all there is, Dad. Maybe it’s just you and me sitting together for a quiet hour, alone with each other.”

He listened to the wind and finally realized what it was telling him. His Dad wasn’t here anymore. He’d moved on.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge for April 27th (although the URL says May 11th). The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

My Dad died a year ago last week. The scene somewhat reminds me of Nevada where I grew up, and also of the area in Utah where my Dad liked to fish.

We actually put his ashes in a hole near his favorite high desert lake. Hardly a secluded spot, but then, it really wasn’t my choice. Thinking about going back produces an empty feeling. It’s just water, rock, sand, and sagebrush. Dad isn’t there anymore. His spirit has moved on.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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63 thoughts on “He’s Not Here Anymore

  1. And so must we all.

    There is, however, a hope — derived from the Jewish scriptures — for a future resurrection of the dead and a final reckoning. Those who survive that encounter may hope to re-encounter one another, as well. If we could invent telephone directories and even more sophisticated means of finding and contacting one another with our limited technologies at present, can we not expect at least as much under the future regime of the “All-knowing”?

    Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds to me as if you’re handling the anniversary of the loss well.

        As for the hope, I doubt that anyone currently living can accurately address “how that’s all supposed to work”. We have barely enough information for a glimmer of it and some confidence that it will indeed become a working reality. Nonetheless, as the writer to the ancient Jewish messianists put it in Heb.11:1 (slightly paraphrased) – “… faith [gives] substance [to] things hoped for, [and] evidence [for] things not [yet] seen.” That writer was addressing a different matter, but the principle is no less applicable.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for your loss James. My Dad died 22 years ago this May, the day after my 40th birthday. His ashes were scattered in the Garden of Remembrance at the Crem, as were my mother’s last month. Dad has always been with me, wherever I am, and Mum has now joined him. In my heart they are together, and so many things or places bring them closer still. There is no one specific place, just everywhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorry for your loss, James. Haven’t experienced the loss of a parent myself and can’t even fathom what it means. However, I really liked how you slowly moved towards acceptance. Well done.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it depends on what stage of life you’re in. If I had lost Dad when I was young, it probably would have crushed me, and even though his death was unexpected, I “held up” surprisingly well. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Both of my parents are gone and have been for a number of years, but there are so many things that remind me of them. Even, these days, when I look in the mirror and see so much of them in me.

    Like

  5. Dear James
    You’ve given us a very moving story. I think it’s probably the best of yours that I’ve read. It carries a deal of authenticity. It’s something beautiful that you’ve created out of your loss, Well done.

    Like

  6. A lovely tribute to your dad. I lost mine about a year and a half ago. He died about three months after my mom. There’s still a wee hole in my heart but I know they’ve gone to a better place, whatever that may be. You captured that feeling. Maybe they don’t need us anymore and are just watching and waiting.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am now one of the oldest in the family, yet I still feel like I am an orphaned child. That we miss our parents is a credit to them. Thank you for sharing your love for parents.

    Like

  8. Beautifully done, James. This is a year of anniversaries for me too. My best friend has been gone 10 years this past April 19 and my father 5 this coming May 23rd. There are far too many anniversaries for me, sadly.
    Sending a virtual hug.

    Like

  9. That was a very beautiful story. I lost my father when I was a teenager and we didn’t have the opportunity to spread his ashes – they are buried in a crematorium. The last time I visited the crematorium, it felt meaningless. Memories are more precious. My condolences for your loss.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

    • According to Jewish tradition, the spirit of the departed remain near their loved ones for a time and then finally return to the Source. My Mom said she could feel Dad’s presence but it eventually faded.

      Like

  10. It hurts when you lose a parent. No way around it. However, I find myself talking to they occasionally, and each time we stop working and go get a cup of coffee — which is what we did together. Everyone handles it differently, but one thing for sure — we are next.

    Like

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