Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Five years

Five years is a long time.  It's the length of time for a child to grow from baby to school age.  It's a seventh of my life, so far, it's five rotations of the earth around the sun, five winters, autumns, springs and summers, five birthdays and Christmases.  Five years for the families of the Mangatepopo tragedy, yesterday, and five years today for me since my father died.    And with the events in Boston will be the start of another cycle of tragedy for those touched.  This stuff is happening around us everyday, people carrying their own personal losses, or dealing with the public ones.  Everyday will be five years for someone, I guess.

It's a continual journey, this path of grief.  It strikes me at odd moments.  I wrote several years back about the hole inside me and how I hoped the edges would be less raw with time.  I think most have smoothed, but there are still the odd jagged bits that catch from time to time on the spikey parts of life.

This last year has been less about the absence of Dad and more about how things would have been different if he was here.  There was the dispute between two of his old friends which my father would have sorted, but he isn't here so it festered and one of the parties died too so now it will never be resolved.  In a selfish sense, there's stuff around my house that needs fixing which I know Dad would have helped with.  And there's the discovery that my father had another daughter, adopted out at birth and now living on the other side of the planet, a disclosure that came to me instead of him because he wasn't here to get that letter.

Am I still angry?  Yes.  The injustice is still palpable.   I still hate cancer with a burning  intensity.  But most days I can get on without raging against the dying of that light.  Sadness is more where I'm at, and frustration now too, that there are things he should be part of that he isn't here for, through no fault of anyone's really.

We remembered Dad as a family on Saturday night, and I'm hoping that by writing this now I'll be able to put this aside for a few hours at least to be a productive worker bee in the workforce.    And then I'm going to take a break and buy myself a new dress I think.    To cover up the hole.


myr lock said...

You have a half sister, is this not something to be joyful for?

Julie said...

Oh yes, definitely! Am very happy about finding out I have another half-sister. Just wish Dad had got to tell that secret himself, and also that she was getting to correspond with her actual biological father, not the somewhat poorer substitute of a much younger half-sister who can't answer a lot of the queries she must have about our father's younger years.

jemthegreat said...

Kia kaha, Julie. The edges do smooth over with time (my 'five years' day was just over a week ago).

People talk about how you never really 'get over' losing someone you love ... and that can be pretty discouraging, but I reckon that's the wrong way to think about it.

Usually when we refer to 'getting over' something (a relationship or a grievance), it means being able to look back without emotion. Being able to do that with the person you've lost would mean losing the intensity of the feelings you had for them. You never will - but you'd never really want to either.

I hope you can remember your Dad with smiles as well as sadness. And that you found a nice dress, of course.