My dad passed away about 11 years ago. At the time, there was no funeral, no “celebration of life, no “reading of the will,” not even a family get together to say goodbye and honor his memory. Infact, I can’t recall anyone in the family calling or saying anything to me about my dad’s passing except for my mother who called the morning it happened and she called to ask if I would please come up to the hospital. So at six AM that morning I took the thirty minute walk to the hospital and saw my father for the last time.
A few days later, my aunt flew from Germany to be with my mother and my brother and his wife drove down from Prince George, again to comfort my mother, but no one thought to ask me how I was feeling. I guess they thought I wasn’t close enough to my father to have much of an emotional reaction, or maybe they just didn’t care how I felt, I really don’t know, I just know that I feel like I have never had a chance to grieve my father’s passing.
The closest I got was when I finally read his obituary. It had been mailed to me by my sister in law who had had it printed in the Prince George “Citizen”, rather than the Nanaimo “Daily News”, because it was thought that my father would be more recognized in Prince George where he had worked most of his life in the CN train yards as a machinist.
When the letter first came I paid it no attention as I had little to do with my brother in those years (even less now) and I didn’t recognize the letter as being something important I should look at. I don’t think I really even looked at the envelope when it first came, I was sort of living in a daze at the time and I simply threw it on my kitchen table and forgot about it.
About a week or so later I picked it up again and to my surprise found that the envelope had been opened already by someone other than myself. I was horrified when I realized it containied my father’s obituary and that someone had callously opened the letter and probably read what was in it before me. Likely they thought that the envelope contained money or a check and when they found that it didn’t, simply put it back, not caring that I would be able to tell that it had been opened. (I was not keeping the most savoury of company back then).
I felt raped. It was a violation of my memory of my father. Someone who I probably didn’t even like very much (anyone who goes into your mail thinking there might be money in it is not someone you like a lot) had read the summation of my father’s life before me. I couldn’t even bring myself to read it after that and I tossed it back on the table where it sat until one of the more sensitive people in my group of fringe dwelling aquaintances, took it upon themselves to frame it for me. That broke the ice around my heart and I finally read the obituaty.
Outside of the few tears I shed (partly because I was so touched that someone who didn’t know my father at all was kind enough to frame what amounted to a scrap of newspaper) I have not cried or felt any real heartfelt emotion concerning my father or his passing. I feel like I have never mourned him at all and that a part of me is still wounded.
Its true that my dad and I weren’t close; not then when he died, and not in the fourty some odd years before that. I would have to say that I really didn’t know my dad or his history other than what my mother filled in, but he was still my dad, the only one I will ever have and I wished then and I do still, that there had been something, anything to give some sort of closure to that chapter in my life. As it is, it is still a vacant opening inside of me waiting to be filled.
Maybe this will help. Thanks for the challenge.
The pain that keeps on Hurting
The pain of holding on is different from the pain pain of letting go. If you are at a point where you are able to let go, you are at a point to accept the loss and begin the healing process. However, if you are holding on, even while your fingers are being pried painfully off in fractional degrees, then the pain that you are feeling is not the pure pain of immediate loss, it is a tangled up mess of emotions compounded by the amount of time used continuing to cling to something that your inner wisdom has told you, cannot or will not, be sustained.
So while letting go can be likened to a knife slice to the wrist, a sharp and stinging pain that will let your life’s blood out in a matter of minutes, holding on can be compared to that same knife stabbing you in the gut and then twisting whenever you think that maybe the pain has become tolerable. While the stomach wound will evenutally kill you, it will not be as quick as the slash to the forearm, and may even require help from complications like infection before the job is done. In this way, the puncture to the gut, while it allows you precious extra time, exacts a horrendous price in terms of suffering.
And though letting go takes courage, just as a leap into the abyss that is the unknown takes us to a point of no returning, the grasping uncertainty of holding on does not release us from fear, it merely prolongs it. In my books, letting go, while it often seems like the more difficult of the two choices, is by far the easier in the long run.
we don’t always get what we want (or what we need for that matter)
What I wanted was for you to say that you love me.
What I wanted was for you to say that I'm OK
What I wanted was to be good enough for you to be proud of
What I wanted was to know that I matter to you
What I wanted was for us to stop our fighting
What I wanted was for you to say I'm sorry
What I wanted was for you to mean it when you said it
What I wanted was for us to never change
from the people we were before we lost our way
of talking to eachother like we were equal
What I wanted was for you to see the good in me
And what I wanted was for me to always be good enough for you to want to see
But what I wanted isn't what I got or even close to it
And what I wanted isn't something that can be
Cause now your gone and I can only think about
How there is no more you
there is just me
left with a lot wasted wanting and some shitty memories.
It starts with a game of pacman.
I was playing a mindless game on the computor earlier today. A typically mind numbing piece called “Killer Pacman.” For those who aren’t familiar with the game it consists of you (playing as a rubber ball) against them (pacmen who appear as only heads). The pacmen heads sail by you at different rates of speed and it is up to you, as a rubber ball, to bounce on to them and kill them. Sounds pretty simple right? Well it is until you get to the higher levels where the time gets shorter and the number of pacmen heads you need to take down gets longer. A great way to waste an hour so.......
Anyway, here I was playing this stupid thing and losing big time, when I happened to notice that in one instance, there was an entire cloud of the right color of pacmen heads (did I forget to mention that each level calls for a particular color of pacman head ) floating by me, some fast, some slow. I managed to miss the entire flock not because my aim was off or I was too slow, I simply was caught off guard and I let it slip right on by.
In that moment it felt like the story of my life. I have literally watched my life and the opportunities it has presented, float right past me. It was a very sobering thought and it got me to question why it is I have left the better part of my life stagnate in mediocraty. And that is at its best. At the worst, my life plunges into destitution from its highpoint of stable mediocraty, but never once can I recall reaching out and trying to touch apon greatness or at least good. This then, is what came to me.
I am extremely lacking in confidence. OK, now what? Well, how is it that I am so unconfident in myself? Lets try looking at how my mind speaks to itself. I didn’t even have to think about that one. My internal dialougue is one steady put down of me and my abiitities or lack thereof. If is often puncuated with repetitions of the words stupid, failure, hopeless, and bad. If I knew someone and they were to talk to me like I talk to myself, I would think that they were the meanest most hateful person on the face of this earth and while I may agree with them, I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to spend any time with them. Yet I am stuck, everyday, listening to the voice inside my head (and at times out loud) putting myself down or tryiing to convince myself that my life is in ruins and I'd be best off just packing it up and living in the woods,
lt is easy for me to see how my early internal vocabulary was formed. I can still clearly remember my mother telling me such things as “No man would ever want me because I have nothing to offer and I am a lousy person.” Self congratulation was frowned apon in my family though frequent reminders were given me of my failings. To say, even to oneself, that they did well or was capable of achieving great things was to be considered overbearably conceited, thus making it yet another failing.
But even so, what has stopped me from giving up this negative script and trying out a new one, a more positive one? Years of repetion of the old to the point that it is burned into the very fabric of my soul and to remove it will take a monumental effort of the highest order. Again, that takes being able to believe in yourself and your ability to overcome. Not an easy thing to do when your mental tape is playing a litany of put downs on repeat.
I don’t know that thinking about this, or knowing where it comes from, does any good at the end of the day, but I do know that it has got me aware of how bad the problem is and maybe, just maybe I can sneak a few kind words into myself on a regualr enough basis that one or two will take hold. In the meantime I can hold tight and try not to sink the few ships of mine that are still sea worthy. Just a thought.
War to create peace?
War create peace in a time when there is enough destructive force to kill us all?
I don't see it.
I only see escalation and retribution until no one is left to fight.
Until those in power are too weak to push another button and there is nothing left to win.
God save us from the madman (woman) who thinks that a war can be won without destroying anything that is worth fighting for in the first place. What victory is there if no one is left to see it, to live it, to claim it?
And even if we got away with only ruining part of the planet and part of humanity, it wouldn't be long until we tried our hand at it again because war is never satified with its victory for long. War is about power and power is greed. and greed must be fed.
War is about power and wanting more than you need. Peace is about sharing until there is no more need. Peace come from war? It seems an oxymorn to me.
Last words (retraction)
Earlier today I wrote a schmaltzy poem about last words, published it, and later this same day, retracted it. Why? Because it occured to me that in most cases, if not all, last words are not terribly profound and if memorable, only because someone has given them meaning they didn't have to begin with. I personally hate to think that I would know that I am uttering my last words and since I most likely won't know, it is probable that they will be as trivial as most everything I say on a regular basis. If I were unfortunate enough to know that I was speaking my last words, I would be so shitting scared that they'd likely be not much more than garbled gibberish interlaced with my wracking sobs. I hope that the former is the case for me. Trivial, nonsensical, who cares? I'll be dead.
One of the worst things a person can do to you is break your trust in them. I know because it has happened to me many times by the same person.
You probably think its my own fault for having taken them back into my trust after the first couple of times they betrayed it, but anyone out there who is in an intimate relationship knows that a relationship can't survive long without trust. So, it was try to trust again or watch the relationship fall apart due to nagging doubt. I chose to trust again and the relationship still fell apart, not from doubt, but from the certainty that the person I was with is a borderline sociopath.
Unfortunately, the years of never knowing if my trust was misplaced or not left me with a terrible hangover. It got to be that I started to second guess everything I thought was real. Did I just misplace that item or did someone take it? Is it possible that I forgot to mail that check? Am I sane, or insane? Doubting your own reality is a terrible feeling and one that is sure to leave you vulnerable to people who would like to exploit that weakness. It is what I call crazy making.
I am sure that there are people out there who purposelly drive you into thinking that you can't trust your own perceptions in order to control you. This is a cruel and heartless manipulation that can have lasting damaging effects. Not only does it make it difficult to form new relationships as you are suspicious of everyone for fear of being hurt again, you can't trust yourself to be sure that what you think is right, is right. This leaves you in a constant state of doubt and confusion when it would be preferable to just know that the person you are dealing with is a rat skunk and that your precious , heartfelt secrets or what ever it is that is important to you, is gone forever. That is infinately better than constantly wondering if they will turn up again someday or if so and so doesn't already know that you said they are fat. To not know is to be in a state of limbo where nothing can move forward.
In order to grow and thrive in this world you must be able to trust, not only others but your own truth. To be able to trust and keep trusting is a gift that is not to be underrated, so count yourself lucky if you are one who can still trust freely without fear.