It's been exactly two weeks since my dad Lou died and I miss him dearly. That's not a surprise considering what he meant to me, but I didn't think the degree would be as strong as it is. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been stricken down with grief or remorse. In fact I think I think the last 8 years gave allowed me to appreciate and prepare for when that day came. To be on the safe side, I threw in an extra session with Ivan in case I needed it.
During this session, everything seemed to be going fine, discussing the impact of my loss and the void that now exists.Even Ivan agreed that I was doing well handling the situation. Then he through me a question that caught me off guard:
"Do I feel abandoned by Lou's death?"
In all my thoughts about loss and grief and trying to remember and honor him I never once thought about it in that way. It's burned at the back of my mind since then and when I'm alone I find myself really considering the ramifications of that. Initially I wanted to dismiss it, but I don't think I can.
Although this instance was just a natural end to his life, I am once again left with a fatherless void. I suppose the part that really gets to me is how my own father has abandoned me. The fact that he's alive and still not making any effort to fix our relationship. It's all a smack in the face to both myself and to Lou, who stepped in when my dad wouldn't.
I guess I'm saying that this is a bit harder for me than I thought it would initially be. Not only was I abandoned by my natural father, but to a degree I was also abandoned by my mother, albeit in a different fashion. She remained behind and I was the one who finally stepped back and stopped contacting her, but her actions from my childhood served as an abandonment because she was more interested in pursuing her own desires and interests instead of being a parent to me or my sisters. So when I think about it from that perspective, this is a difficult time.
So what are the lesson(s) I'm supposed to take away from all this? Yeah, that's the toughest one. It's obvious that I have to always remain constant in being involved in my kids lives and give to them what Lou gave to me and what my own parents never did.
I also keep coming back to one of the last things that Lou said to me. He told me to take care of myself and to take advantage of my youth, my health, and the time I had remaining. Slowly, that is lighting a fire in me to do the things I want to do with my life because when it is all said and done, I don't want to be regretting the things I didn't do like Lou did on his death bed. It reminds me of a quote that's attributed to Mark Twain that goes something like this:
"Twenty years from now you won't be regretting the things you failed at, you'll be regretting the things you never tried to do or make happen."
And that's where I'm at. It's hard to think about it and decide how best to honor the final wisdom that Lou passed on to me. I only wish I had a parent to talk to that I trusted.