Dad listened to me
On a Saturday morning the day after my mom's funeral I had a breakthrough with my dad. As of late he has become at times very stubborn and “impossible” and would not listen to any advice or correction. My mom's passing softened his manners but he still needed control. He played up to and pleased outsiders but my sister Gail and I received the brunt of his authoritarianism. It was hard to help him sometimes. Sitting on the couch this morning he was quiet and sad looking. I asked him how he was and he answered that he was ambivalent. He said “he was with mom for 67 years and everything he did related to her. I guess we have to go on to maintain ourselves.”
I answered it is not enough to simply go on blindly. In a counseling tone rarely used I said you're going to have to mourn mom properly. If you eliminate yourself, her life and also her loss would not be fully appreciated. To do this requires you maintain yourself for a period of time. After this you have to see if her life and loss can carry over into your life. Can her light shine and open some door for you? Is there a new quality to be realized? Can her loss open some new door to understanding? As we said, she prepared us for when she would be gone. Now that she is gone, and we are free from nursing her ailing body, are we to see something previously unseen? Are we to voyage to some unknown realization?
This is your reason to maintain yourself and go on.
He said it is important to go on for me and Gail. I agreed but the first two reasons come first. That is your base. Later we can be added. You have to have your own deep reasons to continue to live. He sat, took it all in, and this was a first for dad and I.
Thank you mom.