Charles W. Brooke, 1943-2007

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As some of you already know, my father passed away last Saturday. We had the visitation on Wednesday and the funeral on Thursday. Needless to say, it's been quite a week.

This marked the end of a seven-or-so year struggle with cancer for my dad, a time that was concurrent with his involvement in local (Davenport) politics, including 4 years as mayor. I'm going to write more extensively about my relationship with my dad in a few days or so, I think. But right now, in addition to the grief and sadness I feel, I must say that it's been a very strange experience. There were things about the cancer that my dad couldn't hide--the physical changes, having to use a cane for a while, etc.--but he wasn't especially public about his pain and exhaustion. So while I was as prepared as I could be for his final days, I wasn't really prepared to read about him in the paper or see stories about him on tv.

While I've been less than thrilled with those who have used the opportunity to talk more about themselves than my father, I don't begrudge the publicness of it all--my father touched a lot of lives, particularly late in his life. For the last few years, it was pretty common for me to visit Iowa and to see, on a daily basis, letters to the editor defending his policies and choices or attacking him. It had subsided a bit with his move from mayor to alderman, but he always spoke his mind, particularly when it came to things that he thought were in the best interests of the city.

But I remain sensitive to the posturing, posing, and performing that has gone on, and I understand it even if I don't approve of it. The publicness of the past week has made it more difficult for me to sort through my own feelings and reactions. Wondering whether this person or that one would dare to come to the visitation, worrying about whether or not tv cameras will try and sneak shots of the family, checking the papers every day to see if and what's being said: all of these things render my own negotiations with death just a little less peaceful and even possible. For a while, until I realized why, I was getting short-tempered and angry. Lack of sleep probably didn't help much, either.

Ah well. As I said, I'll write more about us later. Right now, I just feel like I'm slowly regaining some of the emotional energy that I've been spending over the last week. And I wanted to thank everyone who's passed along condolences and good wishes to my family and me. And I wanted to say goodbye to my dad, even though he claimed he only read my blog when I wrote about sports.

Bye, Dad. I love you. That is All.


Oh no, I'm very sorry. I've been thinking about you a lot over the past couple of months, and I will continue to do so.

Dear Collin, my deepest sympathies on the passing of your dad. Sounds like the weeks have been tough. It also sounds like he was quite a guy. Take care.

Collin, I'm so sorry.

What a sweet post. I'm sorry to hear this; all my best.

Oh, dear. Death and funerals are surreal enough for their very realness, without this extra layer of what-ever-it-is. Stop on by when you head back.

Oh, Collin. I'm so sorry.

Our thoughts are with you.

My deepest condolences on the loss of someone so special and close to you. I'd like to read more about him, when you're ready to write it.

Wonderful words. Deepest condolences.

Oh, no! I'm so sorry. 2007 has been such a rough year for our parents.

I'm sorry to hear this, Collin.

So sorry about your father's passing.

Very sorry to hear about your loss, Collin. Sending out a good thought for you.

I'm sorry, Collin.

You and your family are in our prayers, Collin.

I'm very sorry to hear it, Collin.

I'm sorry to hear this, Collin.

I'm sorry to hear this as well.

Sorry. :(

Dr. Brooke:

Sincerest condolences to you and yours.

hey, collin, i didn't say anything to the listserv when the announcement went out, but i've been thinking a lot about you and your family. and i read the newspaper article tamika sent around. your father sounds like he was quite a guy! i can only imagine how hard it must be to try to work through your own reaction to losing him while at the same time having to share him with so many people--and having to see so much of their version of him when you really want to remember your own. i wish you strength & closeness with the people who matter most to you, & quiet spaces to feel what you feel. maybe you should ask someone else to record the news, in case you want to see it later, & then turn the tv off; it's cool that he was their mayor, but it seems to me like it's more important, at least for now, that he was your dad.

This is a beautiful post. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad.

I'm so sorry to hear about your father's death. This is a wonderful tribute to him and I hope we'll see more when you feel up to it. In the meantime, take care of yourself. Lots of us are thinking of you.

Sorry to read about your loss, Collin. Best to you and your family.

I'm very sorry for your loss, Collin.

I'm so sorry to hear about your father.

Collin, I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

[*with closed eyes, bows head in silence*]

Collin, I'm so sorry for your loss. This is such a loving tribute, and I hope you'll find remembering your father in more private spaces brings you (and the rest of your family) comfort.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Collin.

Hi Collin,

I enjoyed checking out your blog. I'm a recent grad in Silicon Valley, and I've just started a company that is mapping the blogosphere to our world. I noticed that your blog has great content and a good-sized readership, and it would be great to have you on the map. Here is an example of a blogger in Georgia who's plugged in: [oops--no link]. It can be fun to explore different localities.

It's an easy process to get on board, and I can be reached at [oops] for questions or feedback. If you resonate with the vision of painting a global canvas of voices, please give [oops] a mention.

Cheers! -Clayton

Sounds like your Dad touched a lot of people, just as he touched you. It sucks that he's gone. Let us know if you need anything. We're out here.

I'm really sorry to hear of your loss Collin. I send my best. Take care.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on October 26, 2007 3:39 PM.

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