Driving home from my session I received a message, ‘dad is not expected to make through the weekend’. I was in a vulnerable state, as usual, after a session. Dad? Oh yah, ‘Wayne’, the man I never call ‘dad’.
I have often thought about this moment wondering how I would feel. I have been totally convinced I would feel absolutely nothing. As an adult I have felt neutral about him, no love, no hate, no dislike, no hurt, nothing. Just some stranger who was in my life at one time.
The unexpected happened. I was suddenly overwhelmed with many confusing emotions. A great sadness washed over me. I didn’t understand where this was coming from. How is it possible to feel sadness about him dying? Last time I had seen him was 12 years ago. And before that I was a teenager. I’ve had no contact between those times. I don’t even know the man.
After wrestling with this for a bit it suddenly come to me that I wasn’t really sad for him but for what should have been. Sad because when it comes down to it I’m not sure what I missed in not having a nice father. I can only guess at what I missed. Or maybe sort of know what I missed by watching other dads with their children. As a child I used to fantasize being in another family but even those fantasies were vague not knowing what a nice family was.
Mixed in with this sadness was a strong feeling of guilt. My sister has kept in contact with him. On occasion she will tell me I should also contact him. I can’t remember the reasons why she thinks this. Maybe because I get angry at her and walk away when she mentions it.
I started feeling that maybe I should have kept in touch. That maybe she was right and that my reasons for not are lame. After all he is family. I thought maybe I should hop on a plane and fly to Ontario to be with him and his family.
Then began the war within. Conflicting thoughts and emotions. Trying to come to terms with the unexpected turmoil.
I was the child of the family. Maybe I should have contacted him but as the adult of the family I believe he should have been the one to keep in contact or at least first contact. He never even tried. I don’t even know if he wanted contact and if he did he didn’t have the balls to do so. In reality I never wanted to stay in touch and wouldn’t now. Why would I want to with such a brutal person anyway.
I have only one good memory of him. But the one good memory doesn’t
by any means over ride the legacy he left me that I’m still trying to overcome.
All those years ago I lived with a terrorist not a dad. So why these feelings?
ps: as of this writing he is still alive