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Tony Grist

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After The Funeral [Sep. 15th, 2004|09:19 am]
Tony Grist
My father died at the back end of last year. We've had time to grieve and now it seems like we're all beginning to remember what a gruesome old sod he was. I spent all my adult life disliking him and keeping as far away from him as I could, then, just at the end, as if we'd seen a warning flare go up, we made a special effort and had two or three good hours together. After the funeral it seemed like those two or three good hours had cancelled out all that went before, but of course they hadn't.

He was "disappointed" in me. That's what I've recently heard. I knew it in my bones (of course) but it was a shock to be told it. In the rare times when we were together the disappointment hung in the air like fog, but it was never spoken. I used always to get migraines when I visited him.

So what were you disappointed in, Dad? What exactly? And when did you decide that I was so disappointing? When I was 35? 25? 15? 5? I've really no means of telling because I don't ever remember a time when you acted like you enjoyed having me around.

Forgiveness? I don't understand what that word means. You were the way you were. You cast a blight over my life and many other lives. And nothing I do or say now can change it.

[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-15 06:15 am (UTC)
I think it was something to do with that generation. They'd been through hard times and a lot of them responded by shutting off their feelings. You and I grew up in the 50s- which has to have been the most inhibited, buttoned up, hypocritical decade since Queen Victoria fell off her perch.

Yes, I am disappointed in my father. He wasn't a bad man. He had a mischievous, fun-loving streak. His friends saw it, but I never did, nor did my children. My daughter was telling me on the phone t'other day how she had been down to see him not long before his death and he reduced her to tears with his snippy and inappropriate remarks. I think I find that harder to forgive than anything he did to me.
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