This was written in the middle of the post I was writing last night. I had a little emotional moment creep up on me and seize my fingers, doing with them what they pleased. These are a spontaneous few hundred words, born out of a surprisingly raw feeling in my heart. As strong as I feel these days, I still live in constant fear that I’m doing the wrong thing, making the wrong decisions and launching myself into a world of disappointment, instead of reinventing myself like I should be. I wonder what my dad would think of all of this—my failed marriage, my new career path, my place in the world as it is right in this moment. I wonder what he would think.
I try to live in the moment, here in the now, but some piece of me is still rooted in loss no matter how hard I try to move on from it. I accept the loss as it comes; poets, hucksters, kings and queens have all said that nothing lasts forever, and it’s the truth—in the long run. The problem is that we live in the short run. We sprint from cradle to the grave and though nothing lasts forever, things can last our entire lives.
I have moments, like right this second—in the middle of writing last night’s Godzilla-dream story—where I’m thinking about my dad. I think about how he used to spoon me as a little kid on the couch when we watched the movies and I miss him so fucking much. I think about the first real hug I ever gave him—man to man. I was seventeen and dealing with my first broken heart. He laid it out and related to me in a serious way—broken heart to broken heart. After we talked, we hugged, and though we hugged as men, I buried my face in his shoulder, squeezing him as I wept—son to father. I stained his grey t-shirt, but he didn’t change. Tears dry. Hearts get repaired and fill up again, but when the thing that helps repair that heart goes missing, malfunctions begin to happen.
Sometimes the hurt is so real that it feels like he died yesterday. Sometimes it feels like he’s still alive, other times it feels like he’s been dead for a thousand years and we remember the stories passed down from old like he’s some sort of god. I know this is just a sad moment, I truly have made my peace with him. His death was sudden, but I understand it. There’s a clear line to his demise, and as sad as it is to say, the means always justify the end; as tragic as it is—that’s life. There are moments we all have to face like this, and I got mine early. This means two things: I received in one hand the grace of being “the kid who just lost his dad,” and on the other, the malice of half century of longing.
Other than the odd memory that brings a tear to my eye, I find myself missing him most in the big moments, as is to be expected. I remember crying my heart out the day I got married because I didn’t have him with me, and now that I’m sitting in the dust of it all, I want him even more. His guidance would be a keystone right now, but all I can do is assume and reflect on the advice I did get from him in our time together.
I hope I’m doing it right, but I don’t know. I’m filled with a lot of doubt right now.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.