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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.
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Comments:
From: morrison_maiden
2004-09-15 08:05 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm so sorry your father was like that to you. I guess trying to understand why he was that way is the best/only closure you can find at the moment. It's hard to try to figure things out after the person's death, but I hope it will give you some relief. Is your mother still alive?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-15 08:31 am (UTC)
Thanks. Talking/writing about it helps.

Yes, my mother's still around- and she's had a new lease of life. The two of them were very close and we always thought that if one went the other would follow shortly after. But not a bit of it. She's the merry widow. It's as if she's making up for all the years when she smothered her natural bounciness in order to walk at his pace.

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From: morrison_maiden
2004-09-15 09:17 am (UTC)
Well, without sounding too sadistic, I'm glad for her sake. My great aunt is living in a similar way. Her husband abused her and when he died, she felt sort of liberated. I guess it sounds rather perverse but I know she felt trapped with him. I'm glad that she's been able to turn around :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-09-15 09:31 am (UTC)
If you had asked my mother if she felt oppressed by my father I expect she would have said "no". I've no doubt she loved him very much. But he held her back and stifled her natural feelings- not because he was a brute, but because he was so needy. Protecting him from the world (even from his own children) was a full time job and left her with precious little time or energy for anything else.
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