Ever since that day in July of last year I've struggled to talk about my father's passing in terms of how it's affected me. MN repeatedly asks me how I'm coping but I never can find the appropriate words, or any words. In searching my heart for reasons, I keep returning to the suddenness of my father's death. Then yesterday an old friend mailed me a beautiful poem he'd written for Dad and I was surprised to find how visibly upset it got me, which is clearly not what it was intended to do. I found this to be deeply disturbing and decided sleeping it off would make it disappear. Far from it, I kept waking up periodically with visions of Dad dressed in his finest Air Force regalia driving me to school in a 90's station wagon. Finally, I gave up trying to curl up and hide out, limped my way to the bathroom, splashed cold water over my face and got to thinking. Toilet seat epiphany - I haven't come to terms with my father's death.
After much pondering, I decided it might help ease the pain if I resumed work on the book I'd started months ago. Somewhere into its sixth chapter, I had tossed it aside leaving it to gather dust; not so much from lack of wanting but more from the absence of courage to beckon my demons surrounding the death of the king of our little kingdom. Picking it up where I left off would be too hard, I concluded; since I can't be expected to write on a whim, I need to be inspired. So, I decided the only way to begin making dialogue with my scared little inner child was to get it out of my head, if only for a while, by writing about it here. It might help me understand, I told myself. So today after returning from visiting my Dad, I began to write. But so far what I've written is riddled with incomplete sentences and only marginally coherent thoughts. There's not much structure to it. The topics jump around wildly and the individual trains of thought are hard to follow. At least what's on the screen resembles my current state of mind.
I am not sure what the true test of life is, but death definitely qualifies. My family is not the first to experience such sorrow, nor unfortunately, will it be the last but all in all, it is possible to go on to a place where it hurts less. And I'm going to go there if it's the last thing I do.
That's a start.