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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Two Years Down the Road

He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

~ Anonymous

Two years to this day, at about 2:30pm, my phone rang at work and it was my Mum. All she could manage to say to me was: "Dad's gone." And with those two words, my entire world collapsed around me. I remember wailing: "noooooooooooooo nooooooooooo nooooooooooooo noooooooooooo nooooooooooo", as the tears burned a hot trail down my cheeks before dripping off my chin and landing on my skirt. I recall looking down and seeing the dark spots appearing one after the other as my heart shattered. It felt as though my entire world collapsed in on me and I was tumbling down into a deep dark hole.

After that, all I could manage to utter to my Mum was: "I can't talk right now I'll call you back." My blood ran like ice through my veins. Anuja had heard all of it and came to me to comfort me, but I was totally closed off, trying to cope with the devastation that was visiting me. She knows me well and immediately went about keeping people away, booking my flight to Scotland for that night, helping me organise things at work. Basically doing what needed to be done for me while I tried to come to terms with what I had always known was going to happen, but never this soon. I sat for the longest time with my head in my hands as the tears fell. I shall forever be thankful to her, for just being who she is.

I know you would want me to keep my eyes open, to love and to go on, Dad. But there are days that I feel so lost without you, so alone without you. Days I cry because you're gone forever and days I wish with my very soul, that you were still here with me. Yes, there are also many days I smile with memories of you and I do open my eyes and see all that you left behind. So many parts of you, I carry as parts of me.

I do my best to look forward, always forward. To the possibilities of my future and with an understanding of all my yesterdays. I wish you could have known this special man who has now come into my life, this man who loves me beyond a shadow of a doubt. He's not like the others. The others you met who unanimously disappointed you. It saddens me to think that I probably disappointed you too, by not making better choices. You didn't feel the others were worthy of me and yet I couldn't see what you saw, until it was too late. You never pushed me but you did always tell me how you felt. And often without any sugar-coating. I put it down to the old adage that noone would ever be good enough for your daughter. The truth was, noone I found until now was good enough for me. I should have listened better to the message you were giving me.

I'm trying to understand that there is a reason why you were taken away so soon, without a final goodbye, without one last embrace. I'm still living with the knowledge that I was going to call you the night before I heard from Mum, but decided it was late and I was tired, and there's always tomorrow. I soon found out tomorrow isn't guaranteed and the last time I saw you, the life had gone from you and your skin was cold and hard to the touch. But I had to look upon your face that one last time.

I'm doing my absolute best to see the lesson for me in all this. I am trying so very hard to make sure you'd still be proud of me today. In everything I do, there is a part of me that continues to want to check back with you and ask: "What do you think, Dad?" It's important to me that I live with that question in my mind and heart. It still matters to me what you might think about my decisions, my choices.

I know I'll get through the rest of my life without calling upon you for more of your wisdom, your strength, your humour, your love. I keep sacred, all that you shared with me over the years. But nothing can take away the loss, Dad. Every day as I move forward, I feel the loss of you.

Craig A
21 October 1932 ~ 17 March 2005


Jonas said...

A beautiful tribute, Fiona. A beautiful tribute...

May he rest in peace. May you live happily.

Jac said...

I.B. Singer wrote that when a beloved dies, they feel as distant as anyone can ever be. Only with years do they become nearer, so that we can almost feel them in our lives. When they die, we feel abandoned, but over time they take up spiritual residence in our lives. That doesn't ease the pain of physical absence, but he's here. And I bet he LOVES your blog. Burn a candle for him today and I bet it flckers and dances! Smiles with tears!

Anonymous said...

That's a great picture of your father.

Thank you for all that you share :)

Anonymous said...

You are lucky to have had a father who loved you and whom you obviously loved. My father's been dead seven years and I don't miss him. He wasn't bad but you couldn't talk to him. I don't recall ever having had a conversation with him, which is sad.
I'm sorry for your loss.

Matt Kohai said...

He will continue to live on, in the hearts of people like you, who were affected by his presence.


I still get the urge, every now and then, to walk into a dive bar and buy a round for everybody, in honor of my god-father (who later became my step-father as well).

Fusion said...

That poem sent a chill down my spine and your tribute made me tear up a little. I still haven't processed my father's death and I wonder if I ever will. It happened so close to my wife's that I was still numb. I miss him very much.

Big Hugs to you Fiona, and we'll share the tissues.

freebird said...

I've stopped by a couple of times and tried to comment but just felt inadequate - as usual.
I think this is another example of you being blessed with love, Fi. I know you've had some low spots, but in some parts of your life you have been touched by angels. That must make it so hard to lose, but please be happy that you had it. x

LePhare said...

I'm with Freebird. Anything I say would not be enough. My father died two years ago last February. I think of him every day.

Hugs Fi.

Fiona said...

He was happy there, at the helm of his beloved Tamarind with a glass of wine in his hand, heading out to a day at sea.

Thank you for all your kind words of support. Alas, my relationship with my Dad only began in earnest when he found out he had cancer, it drew us together like nothing else ever had, except perhaps the construction of that beautiful boat so many years before.

Demonstrated love was a rare commodity in our family, and with my Dad being at sea until I was about 12, it was difficult to bond with him. But we did bond at the end and we talked about many things, and sometimes we didn't talk at all, we just felt each other's love.

Thank you all for helping me through a very tough day.

Sunny Delight said...

Fiona, You do have him...this may sound trite, I do not mean it be...you know my heart so well, that I think you will take it for its true meaning...

what you wrote.....

"know I'll get through the rest of my life without calling upon you for more of your wisdom, your strength, your humour, your love"

You will continue to call on his wisdom, his strength, his love, and even his humour.......he is inside you....he was your anchor....he still is....you knew him so very well....You are your father's daughter.......when you ask, you know the answers. You know what he would tell you.

You. Just. Know.

I know this, because even after 29 years, my anchor answers my questions......I still feel her love even after all of these years.

I wish I had been there to hug you this weekend. I love you my friend.

chele said...

My favorite picture of your dad..I also feel like there are really no words to express the sorrow after reading your post.Your dad is very special Fi..I'm glad I got to know him thru you. I always loved the little stories you told me after your visits there with him..such memories! I treasure them as I know you do..I love you my friend.

sophie n said...


anna said...

That was beautiful and moving. I could have (if I was nearly as talented a writer as you) written those same words about my grandmother. She passed away in 1986. The pain doesn't lessen - not one bit. The grief still feels fresh, but my memories of my time spent with her are golden and I'll treasure them for as long as I have them.

Fiona said...

Ah Chele, one of my favs too. And knowing how happy and content he was there, before the illness struck, makes it more special.

Thank you Sophie, it was a rough weekend in so many ways. He helped me through it too.

Anna, I believe that the grief will stay with me. It may be tempered a little over time but I will always feel the loss. Thank you for coming to comment, I know you are still dealing with your own loss. Hugs.

Fiona said...

It didn't feel at all trite Sunny, not at all. I am like him, I do think the way he used to think. I do understand the way he used to understand. I am strong the way he was strong. I am my father's daughter. And when anyone say's those words to me, I am filled with tremendous pride for being just that. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ll always feel not only the loss of him, but the loss of so many years before he and I let ourselves feel the bond we had always shared but never spoke of. Such was the way in our family. For us it was always 'show by performing acts of service'. Only much later, could we talk and show those feelings. He didn't tell me he loved me, he never voiced those words, until the day he found out he had cancer. A day I was with him and not his wife because she didn't want to go.


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