My father’s mantra when I was a child was, “You’ll be sorry when I’m dead and gone”. He died 12 years ago today. As I grew, his words became actions. The last seven years of his life, he refused to speak to me. So, when sorrow didn’t show up when it was expected to, guilt would have its way with me.
I am honoring the day he passed, as it was a relief, even though grief is driving me to write now. I am also honoring this day, as it was the day our relationship began to heal. Once his spirit left his body, he was able to see things from a different perspective, and thus he began his journey to help me with mine. On the other side, he helped me understand the weight of the internal struggles he carried. He was close to 400 lbs. when he passed and died of complications from Type 2 diabetes. Needless to say, his emotional baggage was heavy.
In his passing and the years since, I've been given experiences to flush up this core wound driven by his mantra that has been repeating itself within my relationships. All my relationships, friends and family, not just partners. But, more importantly I learned how I related to myself. The way we relate to people creates our relation-ship, the vehicle in which we communicate and interact. My physical body is my ship, and it was full of holes from grief & shame. No wonder I sank into depression, disease & addiction - all ways I tried to completely sink my ship. (Nice way to say kill myself - which I have faced & the reason I can write about it shamelessly.)
I have spent, what feels like an eternity, trying to prove to people, who aligned with this idea of ‘You’ll be sorry when I’m gone”, that, yes, they were right, I would be sorry if I lost them. I spent so much energy trying to prove this to them, showing them that even the smallest scraps they gave me were gold. I broke though, unable to carry their shit. So, of course they’d leave me broken, to try and tell me I only broke because they left. Some, interestingly enough, showed up only when I was broken, they seemed to think I’d owe them, once I got back up. Reminding me, that if it weren’t for them, I’d still be down. Ummmm, here we go again! “You’ll be sorry when I’m gone!” This pattern showed up with people either dying, or leaving, both leaving craters in my heart.
What a heart breaking pattern to viciously recycle throughout life. This unconscious thought within, became form over and over again. Until I recently discovered it, sitting there in my subconscious picking up the needle on the record player and starting it from the beginning.
I learned that, not only was I trying to prove ‘out there’ that yes, I’d be sorry when you’re gone, but in truth, I’ve been trying to prove to myself, that I would actually be the one sorry, when I was gone. And that hit me like a ton of bricks - because yes, I would be sorry if I died simply because of a subconscious thought that had been worn into the fabric of my mind.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that stifles the sweetness of life. Our bodies show us, in so many ways, thought patterns and forms, if we are willing to look at them. My father told me I was the sweetness in his life, and then proceeded to make me believe that I failed at my job. My own body showed me how I tried to numb out the shame I felt, that there must have been something wrong with me, not be able to prove to him that life is worth living, as he slowly killed himself. I say this with awareness, forgiveness and compassion - even though it was tempting to sink into bitterness with him.
In the name of Great Mother & Father, I honor this day by sharing this story not only for my dad, but my ancestors and family as well. I honor this day as a day where grief lost part of its stronghold.