January 23rd, 2010 | 15 Comments »

Okay, I’ve never had funeral potatoes, but I might want to look up the recipe.

I swore I wouldn’t attend any more funerals after my Mom died because, frankly, it was ugly. But then, it was not Dad’s children that were being mean-spirited. It was Mom’s. I just now figured that out.

My mother and father had a marriage made in hell, and I believe his second marriage made him into the kind of man that gave his second set of children the father I never had.

I have to say that this particular funeral service was very healing for all concerned, and certainly provided healing for me.

I want to say a word about his second wife, mildly amusing OCD stepmother. She loved him without reservation, and wanted to be certain that his send-off was her last gift to him. She pulled it off like a champion. There was no drama, no sniping at others, and everyone just loved on everyone else.

She did her best to make everyone feel welcomed, and wanted to send him off with a nice family gathering. She put aside any differences she might have with others, and she did it because she loved him so much.

The funeral directors made a point of remarking what a nice family they dealt with. I’m pretty sure they have seen some train wrecks, but there were none in evidence that day.

Grammie showed up and provided some welcome comic relief. I can honestly say it was an awesome service. Look here for a creepily appropriate picture of Grammie.

I resolved I would say goodbye to my father in the same spirit which I met him. With the unrestrained love of an infant.

That is precisely what I did. I am so thankful.

I’m totally okay with this. And? That is my miracle.

And guess who was one of the first non-family members that showed up for the viewing? Horny McSlutty! Bonus. We thought he might be dead too.

Thank you all for your good energy and wishes. Know that I felt it, and greatly appreciated it.

You are in my heart.

January 18th, 2010 | 20 Comments »

When I was younger, much younger, I secretly called him The Giant. He was larger than life, and sometimes he was so large he eclipsed the sun. He cast a shadow through which I saw my life.

Standing in the shadow was fearful, and I avoided his gaze, his disapproval, his genius at finding chores for me to do upon taking notice of me. When I sought his attention, it was in order to shock him.

The way that he tried to relate to his children was to teach them. I resisted. I think I’m the only one of the many who has a tin ear, so I just wasn’t interested in learning guitar. Or really, in spending time with my father. He ruled by fear, and I seethed in resentment.

When he first got sick, I tried to make a connection, for my own sake. I wanted to try. I was rebuffed. And totally got blamed for upsetting him while he was in hospital. I never did get to talk to him then.

Each year, The Giant was diminished, no longer a threatening physical presence, yet the disapproval was pervasive. I just didn’t know what to say to him. We weren’t even close to being on the same wavelength, and I didn’t know how to bridge that gap. I would have liked to do it for me, at least.

Yesterday, after eight years of illness, he breathed his last.

Nobody really believed that The Giant would die.

The waves of sadness and emotion overwhelmed me, but mostly surprised me.

That’s where I am right now.

Processing. Owning my part in it.

This shit isn’t for sissies, is it?

Posted in The Dead Dad Club