Sometimes I wonder if it is harder to lose those you are closest to and most connected, to wander the world with the constant longing to be with that person again, the hole inside that can’t be filled back up with anyone else.
Or if it’s harder to lose the ones that you tried to connect with your entire life. The loss of hope that you held on to forever that someday things would change.
I can only connect to the latter, losing my Father was losing the hope that him and I would ever get over our differences and finally have the relationship I longed for.
The would have’s , the could have’s, the what if’s. That is all you are left with after you lose someone you longed for your entire life.
Perhaps it’s because next week I will follow the river road back to my Father that I am thinking of this tonight, a pilgrimage I started last year to find some closure with him .
I ran across this journal entry I had written this last year on his birthday- and I thought about how far I have come in this quest for answers with my Father.
Written January 22nd 2015
I woke up this morning with a nagging feeling that it was someone’s birthday- then I thought of my Dad.
In all of my life I have never even remembered my Dad’s birthday.
I thought to myself ” Well Dad, we sure have come along way since you passed”- and then I sort of laughed at myself- talking to a dead guy and all.
I know you hear me- I know it was you this morning waking me up to tell me it is your birthday. Just like I know it was you who woke me up about two weeks ago and told me to be patient, everything is falling in to place.
I don’t know how I know it’s you, I just do.
We tried for 43 years to have a relationship- it took you dying for us to have one.
I visited you for the first time last year holding no grudges and not expecting anything from you.
I visited you at your grave site.
And I left more at peace with you than ever in my life.
I left knowing it wasn’t your fault, or my fault. We were two souls unable to connect. One more stubborn than the other, one more afraid than the other. I had so much love surrounding me and all I wanted back then was yours. It was like chasing after a Tiger with its tail in your hands. Whatever it was we both needed was just within reach but we could never get both hands wrapped around it.
I destroyed a lot of relationships in my life by not dealing with my issues with you, I never trusted anyone’s intentions and I certainly never believed that someone could really love me. I thought being vulnerable meant I was weak, but I know now that being vulnerable is one of the strongest things you can be- and truly the only way to be loved and love someone else.
You see both of us grew up missing a fundamental part of our beings( our Fathers) and then went about our lives looking for what we were missing in every place except the only place we could find it, within ourselves.
I found myself now Dad, and when I found me, I found you. I found the link that was missing all these years in our relationship. I found vulnerability, the strength to say I was scared and I didn’t know the answer, the power to say I ” don’t know”….I lost a lot in my life before I found me.
But the crazy thing is, it was the only way I could have done it.
SO , Happy Birthday Dad. It’s okay for me to tell you that I miss you- I wish we would have been close, I will remember you in all that was lost but is now found. I will see you again next summer, on the green of the grass where they laid you to rest. Just me and you. Until then- I’m listening. And I hear you.
See you next week Dad.