Fuck you, grief, and your shitty timing.
I finally managed to quiet the internal chaos sparked by my father’s death. There’s no longer any fear that the police are coming to get us, there’s no more thinking that we caused his death, and thankfully, no more asking to be with daddy in heaven (because that was hard for me on multiple levels). So all is good, right?
Wrong. I sat down the other day to write an article that was due the next morning, when I was suddenly overwhelmed with grief. I couldn’t stop crying. I tried to distract myself, but it would only work for a few minutes before I would start crying again. I was a mess. At the most random, inconvenient time, my mind decided it was time to grieve.
But why? I don’t miss my father. I hadn’t seen him in nearly a year, and for good reason. He was an asshole. A fucking asshole. I don’t care that some think it rude to speak ill of the dead. I am speaking the truth; a person’s life status does not affect that.
I brought up my emotional struggle to my therapist on Thursday. She assured me it was okay to grieve his death, but I was sure I wasn’t sad about his physical death at all. I was starting to get frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how to put my thoughts into words (another problem I will write about later). My therapist encouraged me to just say what was inside.
After a few more moments of frustration, I stomped my feet on the floor, and through tears, shouted, “I’ll never know why he did it. Maybe my mom made him do it, maybe he didn’t want to. Now I’ll never know because he’s dead.”
That was the loss I was grieving. Not the loss of my father, but the loss of the truth. The loss of knowing why. The loss of the hope that maybe, just maybe, my father loved me. Maybe he just hurt me because she made him do it. Maybe he really didn’t hate me. Maybe he was just doing her bidding because he had no other choice.
I will never know anything. That is why I cry. I want to believe that if my father was alive, he would be honest about his role in the abuse. In some way, I want to believe that knowing would make a difference, that it in some way would change something.
I know it doesn’t change anything.
But there is a part of me that has spent decades holding onto hope that my father loved me. A child needs someone to love them, and I knew from very early on that person was not my mother. So I put all of my hope in my father, even when his actions showed the opposite of love. I needed to hold on to that possibility. I needed that to survive my childhood.
But do I still need that hope now?