Remembering. Pa.

A year ago today, my dad passed.

And I’m not sure what to say. This is going to ramble and it isn’t about Shakespeare (at least not much), so if you skip this one, I’m cool with that. In fact, it’s probably better if you do skip it. It’s not a cry for help; no need for concern or a response; thus, no need to go further. I just need to sort some stuff out…

I miss him deeply. In some ways, even more than my mom, though she and I were closer. Pa lived with us the last eight years of his life, and his absence at times is excruciating. There are little things that stab into my thoughts and even more that tap tap tap away at my subconscious (one just came to me as I’m keying this in, and my heart hurts more).

Sorry to be so morose. It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” and I wish I could feel that way but I don’t. It kinda sucks.

It’s been a tough twelve months (losing a parent and a job isn’t easy). There have been highlights, I know. Most years, I feel blessed, lucky. As if every good thing was somehow something pumped into my heart, with only a few bad things sucked out of it, making my heart full, swelling. But even with the good things this year, my heart feels like it’s imploding.

Before his death, I would joke how I was a misanthrope. And for a while after his death, I was afraid I would become one. The fear is still there, but Timon of Athens has allayed some of those fears. I see Timon as a lost soul, unsaveable, not even wanting to be saved.

I’m lost. But I don’t want all of mankind to die. Not my wife and boys, not my extended family, not my friends. And I wouldn’t want those left alive to feel as lost, so their families, their friends, get to stay, too. And so on and on and on it goes until every human is included again.

Sometimes I’ve wished to go to sleep and not wake up. The undiscovered country. What dreams may come. You know the list. But like Hamlet, I could never do it, could never take that action. [NOTE: I’m using “could” there as a conditional, not as the past of “can”…as in, “I didn’t have the ability then but I do now”… so don’t worry.] I wouldn’t want my wife and boys to feel this same loss, so I guess I really don’t want to sleep and not wake up.

I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m writing this, don’t know if I’ll even hit “publish.”

I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not Timon. But I’m afraid I might very well be (or becoming) Apemantus. And he’s kind of an a-hole.

My dad had some PTSD and some depression, unmedicated. Well, I, for one, am grateful for the wonders of modern pharmacology; nearly ten years after the passing of Ma, I truly do not believe I’d be here without the anti-depression meds. I’m afraid at times that I’ve passed this down to my boys, like a broken heirloom watch, some genetic time-bomb. Maybe I need to see my guy again.

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Fearing becoming Timon. Afraid I’m becoming Apemantus. Don’t want to be Alcibiades (I’m fighting as a sign of protest. Protest against what? Whatcha got?). Trying hard to be loyal Flavius.

Sorry for the soul-purge, this selfish act of self-therapy (I don’t even know if this has made things better or worse). I’ll try better tomorrow.

2 Replies to “Remembering. Pa.”

  1. Bill, This post resonates with me in dozens of deep ways. Thanks for writing it–and for entrusting it to the rest of us. I’ve kept trying to think of the perfect words from our Guy to offer ad comfort, inspiration, or in support, but alas, hacked out of their living contexts, everything seems more trivializing than profound.

    Hang in there, I guess that’s all I really have to say. Keep the faith–in your family, in the power of words and stories (both Shakespeare’s and your own), and shine on in every way you can.

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