Normally I am one to repress my emotions and carry on as if nothing is wrong, and this in the past has led to me finally breaking down in a spectactular fashion......and not a pretty one either.
My father passed away last week......
Now I know this will resonate with readers in various fashions of remembered grief or difficult emotions...we all have a father but our relationships and memories will all be different.
My father was a difficult man to live with and our relationship was distant.
We had such similar personalities and intellect but he never saw that I was his mirror, he chose to see me as his adversary.
However as he grew older and more and more ill, he realised his mortality and tried in his clumsy way to reach back and tell me about himself.
I tried to swallow my hurt and anger but it was very hard in the initial stages.
Then I got the call from my mother and knew that this was no false alarm, he was gravely ill and was being prepared for palliative care.
I somehow was granted strength to face him in his weakened state,
and allow him to say whatever he needed to say.......my father talked for three days straight!!!
Finally he stopped the incessant chat and I was able to communicate with him........after 40 odd years of distance.
At the end of his life I was given permission to speak and allowed to show him the competent adult woman that I had become.
My father couldnt let go of the adolescent me during his life, he held on to the angry out of control teenager and wouldnt let her grow up.
As he drew closer to the end, I sat still and looked into his eyes with honesty and no anger. He drifted in and out of sleep, when he opened his eyes and saw me there, he finally saw me as I am now.
I know this is an intensely personal piece of writing but this was and
will be a huge part of my life and if I didnt get it out there I would be forever plastering a false sense of bravado on my blog. That is not my style.
My dad was all at once generous, selfish, loud, domineering, sensitive, insecure, funny, brave, weak, loving and angry.
He was complex but he gave me the greatest gift at the very end, and that was the chance to forgive.
Thank you if you have read this far and stayed with me, that means more than you will know.