David Rice, 1935–2022

David Rice at wedding

My dad died yesterday. He’d had a number of health problems over the past year or so, and had declined considerably. The last 10 days of his life were spent in hospice, doped up and dreaming restlessly. It is not how he wanted to go, and I’ve been very upset about that. I had time to grieve him while he was still alive, and now his death is more of a relief.

I always had a good relationship with him, but in some ways I feel like I didn’t know him very well. He never spoke about his interior life. He occasionally revealed tidbits about his life as a child and young man, but these paint a very fragmentary picture.

But I do feel like I knew him on an intuitive level—what was important to him, how he’d react to things. And I know that in a thousand ways I’m not even conscious of myself, I am a lot like him. Gwen sometimes stops me when I say something and tells me that what I just said was exactly what he would say, as he would say it.

In the last few days of my dad’s mother’s life, I said something like “she can’t die, she’s a force of nature,” and he agreed. I’m feeling that way again—it’s as if I’ve had a view of a mountain out my window every day of my life, and that mountain has disappeared. It’s disorienting. It affronts my sense of how the world works. I’ll have to get used to it.

I’ll revisit this post and fill it in as ideas come to me.

2 thoughts on “David Rice, 1935–2022”

  1. Adam,
    So sorry for your loss. My dad was born just a few years after yours and I do think there is often less sharing of internal drivers and thoughts from those of that generation. It is a good reminder to me to get my Dad telling stories of when he was a kid, I find those to be good insight.

    After Dad and Cynthia came to Palau, we had many fun chats about him learning to dive in the Marines and hanging with locals in Vieques – stories that I had bare outlines of previously.

    Hope to see you and Gwen in April.

    Best,
    Tracy

  2. Sending you love, Adam.

    My father was similar in that I knew he loved me, and we had a generally good relationship. He communicated by setting an example with his behavior rather than sharing his interior world.

    Hugs,
    Katherine

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