To my father #
We saw this coming. You saw, and commented on the emptiness that your departure would create, the space for future lives to fill. "Death is a part of life" or so they say, but you knew better, knew that the end is just the end Now you're gone, not to a better place, not "to" at all, but out of time and space, and those parts of you that death cannot erase fall short. You're gone. I lost you first when I was young, a dad replaced by distant tyrant strung out on work and caring less about his family than his monetary stress You taught me things I'll never know, so much I have worked so hard to outgrow, A parent scripts the inner voices crafting an adult's neuroses We found each other two grown men, when I was struggling and when I lacked the luxury to turn aside your offered help though it bruised my pride I laugh sometimes at how many of your mistakes I repeat, along the scripted plan that takes us by the hand, along the path laid out from birth. (The bonds of fate around me always chafe.) And at how so much of what I try to be, better than you, a better parent, better lover, better me, competition underpinning my self-worth, I got from you. As an adult, I came in time to respect what you did to break the cycle of abuse, In place of rage and fire, you gave cold neglect, and let me be fucked up in my own way Healing can uncomplicate. Forgiveness given can recuperate, And so we got some 20 odd years as father and son. Grandpa and dad, you gave my child the love I craved when I was at their age, and I was genuinely glad. I recall the last time we hugged, an embrace awkward as always, like dancers out of place, But love and pride still unmistakeable and clear. I was prepared for this a year ago, when mortality's brutal taxes laid you low. We said our goodbyes, asked final questions, but it was not the end. It happened again. A rush to the hospital, a phone full of text, the first was terror, and each a little less, I learned the pattern, came to expect a routine, new normal, just what happens next, you get sick, we worry, then you get better and we do it all again until the time we don't.
poematheismoptimistic nihilismgriefdeaththe human conditionmy dadhe's not in a better place, he's gonegone but not forgotten