picture taken on the day of papa’s funeral for project 365 (2010)
A while a go Oh! Leona did a post about her fears and the post really stuck with me. Partly because my biggest fear throughout my life was my Dad dying. Then he did, and for a really long time I didn’t have another fear that even compared to that.
When I was younger sometimes that fear really crippled me, thinking about it paralysed me with dread. My Dad was such a big part of my life, because he was considerably older than my Mum he retired before I left primary school, which meant he was my primary care giver. He took me to school, picked me up, helped me with homework, cooked meals, did the housework, he was always there and while I know if things could have been different my Mum would have loved to be there for me instead, I really enjoyed this extra time with my Dad.
He came on school trips with me, he taught me to bake, he bought me Disney films when I was sick, he hugged me and gave me space when boys broke my heart, he took me to important Dr and hospital appointments, he give me a love of action films (although he loved to pick apart American films and tell me exactly what they had done wrong), he picked me up from University when I was seriously ill and brought me home, he phoned me every week when I stopped living at home with a list of topics to discuss so we always had something to talk about. He had such an interesting life experience’s and he was so smart and knowledgeable, sometimes it was as though he had lived more than one life. I got my love of reading from him (even though he thought what I read would rot my brain). He was always there and always let me know that he was a constant in my life. If I needed anything at all, all I had to do was ask. Whether it was just to pick up the phone and talk about a James Bond film or how I could tell if the sausages had gone off or that I needed extra money to pay the rent or if I didn’t understand why my laptop had frozen. He was there.
Now he’s not.
Sometimes I still have moments when I want to pick up the phone and ask him something or share something with him. It takes me a moment to realise that I can’t do that any more and sometimes I can’t ring my Mum because I know she won’t know but I could have with my Dad and totally would have and that hurts.
But nothing hurt as much as last year when we went home for my Mum’s wedding, and my Mum discussed the possibility of scattering my Dad’s ashes. I was plagued by that paralysing feeling of dread that I hadn’t felt in such a long time.
I wasn’t ready.
In all honesty I don’t know if I ever will be ready but I reacted badly. Primarily out of fear but also because I was dealing with my Mum getting married just two years after my Dad died.
I took my Dad’s jar of ashes, still in the posh little box it came in and hid them in my old bedroom, in the cupboard where some of my Dad’s books are being kept and I believe that is where they still reside.
His ashes are with his books in one of the sunniest and warmest rooms in their house and I hope that although we’ve sort of broken his wishes, because he wanted them scattered on a certain field, he would for the time being totally understand and forgive us for this because although my Mum suggested it and was getting married she wasn’t ready to do it yet either.
Next year marks the fourth year of his passing and I wonder if we don’t scatter his ashes soon whether we’ll end up doing it at all. And that is a fear I will have to overcome because it’s like saying goodbye to him all over again and god that hurts so much every time something like that happens, it’s soul wrenching because it’s not just saying goodbye once it’s lots of things that are like saying goodbye again and again. Sadie having to be put down the day after my Dad’s birthday just a few months after he died, my Mum meeting someone else, getting married and changing the house that was his home, planning a wedding without him, knowing he won’t walk me down the aisle, knowing we have to scattering his ashes.
But there’s still time and I’m hoping with time and some thought that the fear and dread will lessen and eventually we will be able to full fill his wishes as he wanted them but not just yet. Right now I’m content with knowing that his ashes are in a good place until we can get them to that field he wants them in.