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Losing a Father is a bit like losing a leg. Or again, losing a father is a bit like losing to a last minute goal, except continuously. Or like the bewilderment of an air shot; a feeling of unexpected disconnection that never really stops.

For me, it has been the epitome of loss.

There’s an open wound where my confidence should be.  It makes me soft.  That feels like a bad thing, but in the fullness of time maybe its not.

I had a reputation for being a bit of a crybaby at school, but when my Dad died, the tears dried up.  I think I’ll probably cry today though.  I’ve only ever managed to truly grieve for him at other people’s funerals.

The man in the box today was a good man. He did his best to be a crutch for my sister and me where that leg should have been.  He and his family have always cared for me and mine.  I know he loved and missed my Dad.  I wish I’d known him better, but I guess that’s always the way. I’m thankful for all that he did for me even though in many ways we weren’t all that close. 

There are a lot of reasons to be there today. For my family, for his family, for me, for my Dad. But mostly I am going to be there because he deserves it. It’s really the least I can do.  It’s something I hope I can do well.

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5 Comments

  1. I’m sorry for your loss(es). There’s little I can add to the words of your other friends who have spoken well but I just wanted to say, you’re right about the being ‘soft’: that it ‘feels like a bad thing, but in the fullness of time it’s not.’ Caring, being sensitive, loving, for all its good, necessarily involves opening ourselves up to the very real possibility of being hurt, and that can really suck. Yet it’s somehow good to be ‘soft’. I reckon it’s good that you want to honour people who were ‘soft’ for your sake – I expect that would mean a lot to them. I reckon you’re good at being soft in a way many people aren’t, so I’m sure you’ll do well. I hope you get to grieve well, and cry if you need to.

    I hope this is as comforting as it is intended to be. Hugs and prayers.

  2. Thanks, Rachel. Your comment was indeed comforting, and most welcome. Hugs back.

    You’re right that my friends have spoken well (mostly on facebook, in case anyone reading this is wondering where the other comments are, btw). My friends are the best (as we have previously established!), and it was amazing and massively helpful on Monday to feel the love from people in response to my letting everyone know what was going on. A very positive and affirming experience in the midst of a very tough day. Some good has come out of it, although of course I’d rather it had never happened. In a way it was even a good day; cathartic and dignified and meaningful. A day done well in celebration and acknowledgement of a life done well. Two lives, really, for me. There was a lot of gratitude on Monday as well as a lot of Pain.

    What I am trying to say, i think, is that yes, we did grieve well; thank you.

    And that’s why it was good, though not as good as it would be not to have anything to grieve for in the first place.

    And i did need to cry, and I did cry and that was good too.

    It was also massively draining, and i’m still feeling the effects of that now. Looking forward to a good break over Christmas (last day tomorrow). Hope you get a breather too. See you NYE, apparently?

  3. Very glad to hear it. I sometimes wonder if there ought to be a word, or if there is in another language, for the sort of strangely vaguely noble feeling of ‘good’ sorrow, of the appropriateness of marking something solemnly which is painful or sad but out of acknowledgement of which comes a sort of affirmation. Sounds like there was a bit of that, if that makes sense, as well as the pain (of which I confess I know little, not ever really having been bereaved). (I would wonder that, wouldn’t I? Typical. All about words.) It would be a useful word to express the idea that it wasn’t nice or whatever but it was ‘good’, it was right.

    Anyway. Yay for crying and rest and breaks. I shall indeed see you before the clock strikes twelve on the year, God willing. Take care.

    • Yes! This! The word that should exist for the sentence ‘I hope the funeral is really ____.

      As for bereavement, good; I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d also say that very few things are as unhelpful as people saying ‘I know how you feel’, so thank you for affirming that you don’t =] (people who have their own, possibly very different, bereavement experiences are the worst at this, btw. It’s a trap I was desperately trying to avoid falling into on Monday myself).

      Anyway, indeed yay for all those things =] And here’s to a good end to this year and a good beginning to the next.

      • Heh. Glad that wasn’t just me. I sometimes ‘glimpse’ it at civic memorials and things – Remembrance Day and such. There must be a word for it in one of the 6,000-odd languages on earth. I’ll look out for it on my travels 🙂

        Yeah. Saying ‘I know how you feel’ is probably generally a bad idea, I’m learning. ‘I’m not sure what you’re feeling but I imagine it might be quite crap, and I want to be alongside you and help you feel it and say you’re not alone’ is a little long-winded, however… not that that has ever stopped me before, of course.

        Re: crying, my friend told me once (when I was feeling silly that I’d sobbed on her shoulder one evening) that it’s good to cry, even if it doesn’t technically solve anything, as tears release hormones and so you automatically feel somehow better for ‘getting it out’. I don’t know if I’ve got that right, but I think of it (and her) every time I cry now. Another great bit of design, there, if so. At any rate, expressing stuff is generally good, so yeah. I think we’ve come full circle now in about every possible way, so yeah: to New Years and old. Amen.


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