My Dad Died on Halloween

And I don’t know what happens now

Niki Marinis


Katie Dutch — used with permission

My Dad has been sick for years. After hitting his head from a fall off the kitchen barstool that Saturday and a trip to the hospital, turns out he had stage four renal failure and pneumonia.

We were all with him — me, my brother, sister and Mom. We got to talk and laugh. When I walked in the room and told him I was there he did the “whoopty do” finger. Classic Dad!

He said he’d go out on Halloween and I told him I’d go home and get my Ouija board out and set up and ready!

When he realized his breathing was getting better but that overall, things weren’t going to get better, he said he was ready to go.

We said you could hang out for a couple more days or you could bow out right now. You can do whatever YOU want to do. He said he wanted to be done. That he could barely talk anymore, breathing was hard, eating was hard, everything was hard.

He was so concerned about US. He said he watched his mother die and he didn’t want to put us through that, and we told him it wasn’t a burden.

I was very concerned he was in a rush to be done because he felt he was burdening us, when he wasn’t.

He said he was scared.

I said it’s ok to be scared. We’re all here and we’re gonna be here. And it could be really cool on the other side!

He said, “John… Denver…” I said, “Country Roads? Take Me Home?” He said, “Yeah.” Cuz he’s a West Virginia boy. My brother cued it up on his phone and we played it for him. I held his hand and he squeezed it and bounced along to it and that was really wonderful.

We said all the things. I told him I’m funny because of him. Because of watching Monty Python on PBS with him late at night and seeing him laugh at something and then looking at the screen and trying to figure out the humor.

Because of M*A*S*H and Alan Alda and Steve Martin and Bill Cosby and Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters.

Because of the parts of the bedtime stories he would make up out of nowhere.

Because of the voices he would give the animals in nature documentaries and the conversations he would make them have. Then I…



Niki Marinis

Weird Girl, thrift store owl collector, heartbreaker, lush, aspiring adult. IG: DocJohnnyFever