"Infinite possibilities and all he can do is whine. You can do anything you lucky bastard. You're alive! What's a little pain compared to that?.
The paterfamilias of the Fisher clan, Nathaniel Sr. had a fatal accident while driving a brand-new hearse and singing, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." And although he is no longer of this world, he shows up from time to time to kibitz with his widow and children.
Nathaniel was a decent man, summed up by his epitaph as "Father, Husband, Caregiver." He served as a volunteer medic in Viet Nam, carrying a snapshot of Ruth in his pocket the entire time. He was also hardworking, rarely taking time off from the funeral home. But he had another side - one that Nate discovered accidentally and only after Nathaniel's death. Years earlier, as payment for a couple of funerals, Nathaniel accepted some "favors" in lieu of cash: from one client he received a monthly supply of San Francisco's finest organic marijuana, and from another he got the exclusive use of a spare room. The room became Nathaniel's secret refuge, where he went to smoke pot and listen to the Classics 4. When Nate went there, he saw that there was more to the father, husband and caregiver than anyone had suspected.
Lately Nathaniel has been making appearances to guide his sons through their troubled times, sometimes appearing as himself, sometimes appearing as a mythical version of himself, but always nudging them to see through the smoke and haze to the bigger truths they might be missing - buried under their own weight of their own fears.
played by Richard Jenkins