The Last Goodbye
My father died April 14th and I haven’t processed it. I knew it was coming. My father had kidney disease, diabetes, and clogged arteries. He was lucky to live as long as he did. As I was trying to figure out what to write today, his cell phone went off repeatedly and nobody was there. So I’m just thinking ok fine I will write about him but to a point, I could live a hundred lifetimes and never make sense of our relationship. Part of me knew he was dying, but I drug my feet saying goodbye to him and I have to take responsibility for that.
The plain truth is, I did not want to say goodbye in a hospital, and he didn’t want me to pity him and see him as broken. My first memory of him is hearing him fight with my mom saying he never should have been a father or had children. He was kind to his friends and hard on us kids. With the wisdom that comes from adulthood I see now that he loved us kids as much as he could, or at least as much as he was capable. It wasn’t in my life contract to have the sitcom parents and that was for a good reason.
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My dad was given the task in this life of making me just jaded enough to be cautious about trusting people and seeing just enough darkness that I can help other people if they ask for my help as a psychic. I fully comprehend the concept of loving someone and seeing the light in them when there were equal measures of darkness. I feel that my childhood helped me understand that we are all complicated humans and not one of us is only good or only bad.
What matters is how we make our choices daily and do we live our lives to help or hurt? I envision that every time we cause someone a deep pain or trauma, not only does a little piece break in them but also something breaks in us, aren’t we all one? If you truly believe that, then you see how damage ripples and affects us all.
I think it is a good idea to say what you need to say to someone before they die, absolutely. That old adage appreciate what you have while you have it is certainly true. However, there are those of us that wade in deep to the complicated emotions of loving someone and disliking aspects of who they are and that is absolutely ok. I can only speak to what keeps me sane, which is to feel the feelings, visit often but don’t live in that dark space. Honor the dark parts of the story, face them, think about them and then move on to the here and now as best you can. Sometimes the people you need closure with just can't say sorry or admit they did something wrong and you have to accept that.
My dad drowned himself in regrets and a big dose of bourbon. I recognize his light as a human. He was a great friend to many and a massive life lesson to me. We all have that massive life lesson whether it is a partner, parent, or friend trust me when I say we all have one. The question is are we going to keep repeating the lesson over and over until we get whatever the universe wants us to learn or are we going to take the lesson and say “thank you I have learnt this lesson and am now ready to release this experience? This is where that Hawaiian prayer Ho‘oponopono (a prayer for forgiveness ) comes in. I say it to myself and others all the time:
Please forgive me.
I love you.
I’m going to be really honest, I say this to my inner child all the time except I like to say I love you first. I really do think that most of our trauma wounds come from a lack of forgiveness, love, or gratitude somewhere in our formative years, so this prayer makes us mindful of taking a moment and healing ourselves by forgiving others and ourselves. If I can offer any advice, it would be to say that it is ok to say that you love or loved someone and in the next breath say and they were deeply wounded. Here is a mantra I use sometimes for myself. Adjust it as needed:
I honor the life of this complicated person by saying the pain and deep hurt will begin to heal now. Thank you for the lessons. Thank you for the times you tried. It is ok if I never heard I’m sorry, actions are stronger than words and I know in the end you tried. Eventually, it will be ok.
Wishing you healing in all areas you need it,