For all of my degrees, my great education, Death has been my greatest teacher.
I lost my father when he was 53. A lifetime of emptying himself into a glass and pissing it away, left him soulless, his cup empty. For all his efforts at reconciling with me, his greatest project, I left him alone, cursing his legacy in which I have all but cemented in the years since. He tried, that last year, to make amends, but my anger was such that I couldn’t see past his endless lessons in how to be a man. Not that he ever knew the rage I had – its depth, its lasting presence. Or, if he knew, he died, perhaps, knowing the hate his son had for him.
Anger means they have defeated you, son.
When you allow someone to control your emotions, you give them your power, son.
Stop. Now what is their motive son? Think! Think! Why are you allowing them to win?
My father’s death taught me to say what I wanted to say when I wanted to say it. I never had the final words with him. My last words were swearing I’d never have a child with his name. I’d never do a thing to make his name great. It was a killing swoop to the man. The one thing I could do to hurt him in that moment.
I was angry when he died. He died too young. He died not knowing everything that was in my head to say, and for years I cursed myself for allowing that kind of rage for him to exist. It wasn’t okay, according to my great teacher. I hated myself for hating him so. I hated that he escaped any sort of justice. I hated that he checked out and left me to deal with the aftermath – a mother who blamed me for my father dying, a sister caught in the role he’d so dutifully assigned her for so many years.
I learned it was okay to hate him. I learned it was okay to not forgive him. I learned it was okay that he never knew, or admitted to his faults. I knew them. I knew how I felt. I know it was valid. His death taught me that. My father passing was unexpected… but still, sons bury fathers. It sounds cold, but that’s the way it is.
When I lost my unborn child, I learned what I will not accept from another person. I learned my limits on my own self-abuse. I learned that there are lessons that are given that aren’t because of some bad karma, or mojo put out in the world. This lesson took me a decade. It also reminded me that I could love someone and not forgive them. I could not forgive them and still not wish harm upon them.
It also taught me how much I could love someone I never got to meet. And miss them with equal passion.
My sister passing, underlined the unfairness of life. The arbitrary strokes of fate that make things happen or don’t happen. It reminds me that for all of my ability to see into people, I still don’t know everything. I think when she passed, I learned the depth of my love for my family… one which I didn’t know I had. I learned to love a child so much that I would gladly give every cent I had to defend him against those who would separate him from what he needs. I learned how much my sister did for me. I learned that sacrifice is made daily, in the small things, not the grand ones that people see, but the small things you do, daily, to make someone else better. She gave me her heart, and my son. I’ll never be able to repay her, so I sacrifice for her son, my son, to make him the best person he can be.
John passing…taught me perspective. All things change. All things are fleeting. I’d write more, but as it’s only been two years, I still get choked up when I think of him. He was the reason I’m here. John kept me from suicide twice. In my dark moments, he was there. He never left my side. He would have walked into a volcano for me. He was the unsung hero of my life. His passing, made me cherish the small moments. His death cast life into perspective… all things can be changed. Every dark moment is just a teacup hurricane in the grand scheme.
This post isn’t meant to be dark – death isn’t a subject anyone likes to discuss. I don’t know, I’m just sitting here, watching the bees.