Friday, April 2, 2010

The Life and Death of José “Father” Ramirez

It was seen as a tragedy when the final work of José “Father” Ramirez was posthumously published 17 years after his death. The public was disappointed, and the scholars were speechless. Stories surfaced shortly after Father’s death, claiming to detail his violent and disturbing demise. Most stories, deemed rumors of horrific fancy, were quickly dismissed. It was said that Father cornered one of his housemaids, bound her, raped her, and then murdered her. It was also said that, over the course of the final weeks, Father had kidnapped several homeless youth and made sacrifices of them in a bizarre satanic ritual. The details of the stories vary, but they all involve sacrifice, torture, rape and, in the end, Father, dead.

There had been murmurs for years about a lost manuscript, written in the last weeks of his life, which unlocked, not only the mystery found in the unity of his work, but also the key to his ‘sixth sense’. Like the truth of how Father spent his last weeks, the rumors of the manuscript ended up being much more rewarding than what was eventually produced. As it turned out, Father died while at home in bed, with a hospice nurse there to change his adult diapers when he had shit himself. Father, in fact, had been in an out of a coma for going on two months by the time he finally died. He certainly was in no position to write his magnum opus, his one final work which would bring together, which would complete the story, which would answer all the questions. We often forget, as we frequently get lost in ourselves, about the torture and pain, not fictionally visited upon missing children or housemaids, but that certainly weighed upon Father as he neared the end of his life. He had 60 years and some 213 publications, not including The Taulemon Dictionary which he later rejected, building up the expectations, the promise of an ultimate realization of truth, regarding that missing period of cosmic history.

He is still studied, though, in schools all over the world. There is nothing he could have done in the final weeks of his life that would have destroyed his reputation completely, or the universe that he helped us to understand. One could say, without a doubt, that the project Father had dedicated his life to, had grown, quite positively, to become something much larger than himself. Once the professional world and the educated public got over the disappointment of the final work, it was back to business as usual regarding the rest of Father’s works. There were no school closings or student riots to stop the flow of duration that he unleashed. That is, at once, both the power of his legacy, and perhaps the saddest fact of his life. He was the creator, in a way, of the world we find ourselves in; and his creation has been busy doing what he hoped it would; growing, flowing, living. But with his great accomplishment, he must have known, he would seal his fate. José “Father” Ramirez died on April 2nd 1991.

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