I have some sad news to report. My father died today. As regular readers know, this wasn’t unexpected, and in fact it’s something of a relief. My father’s health and quality of life have been very bad and getting worse for some time. But it’s still a really hard thing to be dealing with. Right now I’m ping-ponging back and forth between taking care of business and practical matters, and feeling horrible and crying, and just feeling like I’m in a daze. I’ll be writing more about this over the coming days and weeks and months; right now, I can’t do much more than this notice.
I’m flying home to Chicago tomorrow, I don’t know for how long. I don’t know what, if anything, needs to be dealt with in practical terms. It probably won’t be more than a few days. I don’t know how soon I’m going to return to blogging.
My Stanford talk on Wednesday October 3 is obviously cancelled. I hope to reschedule it. I don’t know yet about the Texas tour next week. I’m probably going to cancel it, but I can’t decide that right now. I’ll let you know.
And finally: It pains me that I have to say this, but past experience has taught me that I do.
If there are any religious or spiritual believers reading this blog: Please, please, please, do not say that you’re praying for me. Do not say that my father is looking down on me. Do not say that I’ll see him again someday. Do not say that this is part of God’s plan. Please do not offer any “comfort” of a religious, spiritual, or supernatural nature. I do not find these ideas comforting. I find these ideas profoundly upsetting. If you’re at a loss for what to say in this situation, please consult my article, What Do You Say to Grieving Non Believers? But if you wouldn’t tell someone who’s Jewish that their dead loved one is in the arms of Jesus Christ their personal lord and savior, please don’t tell an atheist that they’ll see their dead loved one in the afterlife. I am happy to discuss and debate religion at another time and place, but I do not want to do it in my father’s death announcement. Any comments of this nature will be disemvoweled, and the commenters will be banned. (And to everyone else: If anyone ignores this request, please do not engage with them. Please ignore them, and let me and my colleagues who are moderating this blog handle it with comment moderation.) Thanks.