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Grief, Part II

Posted on 2012.03.08 at 08:19
Current Location: 67114
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AFAIK my father is alive and well. Their retirement schedule clashes greatly with my own not-retired schedule so we rarely speak, though I am planning to spend a portion of Spring Break with them this month.

No, I dreamed he had passed away.

Thus reinforcing my belief that my subconscious is fully capable of compensating for my cool, logical exterior. In my dream I was greatly saddened, and the circumstances which set it up made it even more painful.

I was at a wedding party for an acquaintance. More specifically, a girl I had casually dated in high school, Lyndsy Fonseca (the hot chick from Kick Ass & Hot Tub Time Machine). At the last minute, her groom-to-be (some jock) had skipped out on her and I was designated to be the fill-in. Her and her parents couldn't have been more pleased and were all smiles as they were passing out cake and champagne in the main hall of their opulent mansion.

My parents had arrived around back in an ancient 1972 Ford LTD and had come in the service entrance. They were sitting on folding chairs in the warehouse with only the cacophony of the festivities making its way to them. It was dark in the warehouse, and night had fallen outside. Only the scullery maids scurried about. I returned to the main hall to retrieve them each a slice of wedding cake.

My soon-to-be bride was all sparkles and smiles as she graciously handed out cake and greeted guests. I was feeling quite unsure about this sudden and unexpected union. Sidling up behind her I managed to catch her ear and whispered my concern about us really not knowing each other well enough to commit to this, but she dismissed the notion as silly and continued smiling and passing out cake.

I got sucked into congratulatory conversations by my future in-laws as well as other rich and famous people I didn't know, taking me forever to make my way back to the warehouse where my parents were sitting on folding chairs. I wondered what they thought of all this tomfoolery and figured they were just as accepting and pleased as they've always been.

When I finally made my way back, they were gone. Two empty folding chairs against the wall, and I could see that the car was no longer parked in the alley behind the receiving bay door. I looked down at the two plates I had in my hand and mumbled to myself that they must've left. "No señor ," started one of the invisible maids in a Latin-American accent, "Your father did leave, he didn't make it." She told of how they went to the hospital and he had died there. I didn't even want to know how. And as I mournfully made my way back to the wedding party, my wedding, I wondered how I would feel the rest of my life knowing my father died the day I married.

. . .

I awoke at 0145 surprised I had been asleep for such a short period of time, then remembered Leo DeCaprio's explanation in Inception. I thought of my own children, suddenly aware I was no longer about to marry Lyndsy Fonseca, and decided I was as important to them as my own father is to me, so that no matter what happened I always needed to ensure I was available and supportive of their needs over my own, much as my own father is to me.

And yes, I did end up calling him yesterday evening. We talked for an hour :)


jobu121 at 2012-03-08 23:34 (UTC) (Link)
Whoa deep sir - very deep.
suzanne1945 at 2012-03-09 14:49 (UTC) (Link)
Both superb examples of fatherhood at its finest.
michelle1963 at 2012-03-09 21:26 (UTC) (Link)
It is rare that one gets gifted with insight like this (not to be confused with simple, logical understanding). To be able to fully comprehend your importance in your children's lives as it relates to the relationship between your father and yourself is a joy.
ehowton at 2012-03-09 21:34 (UTC) (Link)
You're exactly right despite the face I wasn't aware that's what had transpired. Inspiring to be sure; thanks!
michelle1963 at 2012-03-09 21:58 (UTC) (Link)
Grief. One of our ever-evolving topics. In one such conversation, I made the statement that you don't quit loving the person who is gone, and you don't quit missing them; you just get used to the fact that they are gone. If I understood you correctly, you interpreted the statement to mean that you don't get over grief. But that is not what I meant. Grief is an active state. Grief does not remain active indefinitely, even though you will still experience moments of missing the person; a wistfulness. It becomes more passive over time.

When you lose someone who was a part of your daily existence, you lose not only the person, but an entire way of life. (That's why people also can experience profound grief during divorce.) A significant difference over losing someone you may have loved dearly, but whose life is not completely entwined with your own.

In my own experience, when I lost my grandparents, I was sad; but the loss of my father who was a significant part of my daily life was devastating. His death constituted a sharp divide in the nature of my existence. For lack of better description, I feel I'm living in a different dimension.
pcofwildthings at 2012-03-10 13:35 (UTC) (Link)
Very eloquently said.
michelle1963 at 2012-03-11 21:28 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. It's a hard thing to describe.
pcofwildthings at 2012-03-10 13:42 (UTC) (Link)
I have had these kinds of dreams too and they are heavy. Good that you were able to connect with your dad on a phone call.
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