This month, March 2018, marks 13 years since my dad died. They say time heals all wounds, and it is partly true.
Mostly, for me, the festering took time. I thought it was getting gangrenous. But it didn’t, it just took time.
I had to watch out for my siblings, so they didn’t drown in the grief. And then we had to care for mother, who couldn’t stop herself drowning from the grief.
I had no time to grieve. I had to move to Stockholm and study.
Eventually, the scab developed to cover the wound. Then again, every now and then, the scab peeled off as soon as something else happened to push particular unidentified buttons.
About five years ago, the wound felt healed. It stopped bleeding, and the scab stopped dropping off leaving tears, depressions, rage, neurotic anxiety and all other symptoms of emotional harm.
Still, the healed wound can throb when it is too cold.
When I see a dad hugging their daughter.
When I hear a song he loved.
When I see a tall, thin man with his arms wrapped behind his back.
When I see a man too drunk.
When my stomach hurts, I remember the day dad and I agreed that we had stomach aches at the exact same time. I went to see the doctor. Dad refused to go see the doctor.
He went drinking.
When I fight with my mother, I remember all the times he fought with her.
For almost the same reasons.
When I am a little nervous or worried, the psychological finger goes to touch the throbbing healed wound.
But I did finally find Rumi, a fragile healing:
- Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
I have forgiven myself. I have forgiven dad. I have even forgiven life.
Still, the healed wound throbs every now and then. Just to remind me that he was here. He loved me with all the love he was capable of. Because he had no courage or consciousness to love himself.
Although he died at the end of March 2005, every year, I go through the whole of March thinking about him. Feeling the joy I always felt when he laughed. Remembering his total, non-judgemental dedication to my entire freedom. Remembering his touch on my head when he once shaved my hair off to save me the morning-hair-fixing-routines.
I was never a mourning or a morning person. I was all laughter, jokes and joy. I have had to learn to grieve, to be sad and to externalize grief and sorrow. And I have had to learn to wake up early in the morning.
I still hear his proud, joyous, voice when he introduced me to his friends:
“Have you met my daughter?! named after my mother, Elena?”
Not even death can kill love.