How to start your very first blog?!! That was the question in my mind after replying to an e-mail this afternoon in which someone said they must read my blog!! What things would I write about? Well I guess I will just write about what is dearest to my heart this afternnon.
My father is very ill with cancer and likely to pass from this life very soon. This afternoon I rang him to see how he is coping with the latest round of radiotherapy. I had meant to phone him every day for the past week and with one thing and another had not made the time. I was expecting his voice to answer in his usual chirpy manner to say that he was pain free for the first time in years and feeling great - for that had been the last thing he said to me 10 days ago. I was devasted when his partner answered to say that he had not been out of bed for ten days and was very frail and today had taken a turn for the worst and they were waiting for the doctor to visit.
So, my response, in my usual fashion, was to beat myself up for a while about not having phoned when my instinct every day was to call. And then I went into excuses - well we dont talk that often anyway so why should I be any different now. Funny how the mind works isnt it!! And underneath it all I was just grieving - so I stilled the mind and just connected with the feelings and just let them be.
But, what do we grieve for? In my case it cant be missing him, for I see him so infrequently and dont speak on the phone very often either. For all that I love him very much. We live very different lives - his has always been so full and mine has been busy surviving recently. For all that I love him very deeply and just know that he is there, behind the scenes, and that he can be reached if I took the time. We didnt understand each other and our conversations were very shallow, but there was an element of comfort there. I shall miss that…
And, the 'sweetness' comes not so much from the good memories, for these are few, but from the knowledge of who he was and the things he did in life. For these things have always inspired me…
And then I feel his fear and his difficulty in coming to terms with dying. He has always been a very active person, almost frenetic. It made me smile! He has lived a very full and fascinating life and feels most keenly that it has come to a close. I can feel his inability to communicate what he wants to say to me in the last months/weeks of his life, and this brings me great pain. It is not that I have a need to communicate the things that I know he has never, and will never understand, about his daughter. It is just that open meaningful communication, for me, is so important, my life's blood almost. And here is someone who should be one of the most important figures in my life, and at his end, we still cannot connect deeply. And that is just the way it is!!
I have no hang-ups or issues with death itself. I have experienced and have enough understanding of the cycles of life to know exactly what will happen to his soul and his spirit after death. And I am incredibly grateful to him for his lifetime as my father, dispite his inadequacy in that role he has taught me a great deal, in many other ways. He tried his best with the tools that he had at the time.
So why am I grieving? What am I crying for?!!!! I love him and I feel for him in this time of his life/death. But what brings the unbidden tears at odd moments. Why should I, who so rarely saw him in life, suddenly love him so much it hurts, when I feel I may never see him again?
I dont understand…
Which brings me back to the e-mail from my sweet new friend this afternoon - the tension between being human and our spiritual aspirations!! For all the spiritual wisdom and understanding in the world we still feel grief for the parting at death of a loved one. Humaness is amazing. Our hearts have such depths to feel, such wisdom to hold. There are such experiences to be had, and such friendships and relationships to be had. Humaness and life is such wonder