My father died last month. Shortly afterwards I went to his funeral.
I hadn’t seen him for some years. A time came and I drew a line. Officially I gave up on going through the motions. I’ve never been any good at that. I could tell you a long story about all the ways a father and a daughter never found a way to meet. Or I could just show you a tiny snapshot. When I ran away from home at fourteen, his response was to tell my brother, that he’d probably never see me again. He did see me again, but I don’t think he ever really saw me. And I longed so hard, for a father that would come and find me.
The funeral was odd. I wasn’t feeling very much. I almost didn’t know who the man was… maybe, it’s just too hard to feel the loss of a father who has always been so far away. I’m glad I went. My very dear brother gave me an out, but it was never in question that I wouldn’t show up. I missed my mother’s funeral due to my pursuit of self destruction on the other side of the world. I didn’t even know she had died until much later. So, I went for my father, and my mother, and I went to stand beside my brother. I went to honour the family I am part of, even though I never knew what feeling part of something was, until a less biological kind of family showed me.
I was anxious about going. Mostly about the possibility that my stepmother would lash out at me. She has a well deserved reputation for saying terrible things and has said a few to me. I imagined the very worst she could say and practiced my reply. I got it down fine and actually, while she was being an arse to some, I got nothing but charm. It was a weird gift to be able to say goodbye to the woman who has walked beside my father for forty years.
I saw cousins I know of but don’t know, and my stepbrother, Giles, who I hadn’t seen for nearly four decades. Reminiscing our tiny, long, gone shared history, he said, “I remember you always listening to Leonard Cohen”.
“I still am” I told him. “Always will be”.
5 thoughts on “A Funeral”
Oh, thanks for sharing this Caroline, funerals being very much in the foreground for me too right now, I understand more than I ever have about loss, not just of the person, but also what you never had xxx
I really love you Caroline Bobby. Thanks most definitely for being you and guiding me. Leonard Cohen forever. Fx
Thank you sweetheart. Love you too xx
I’m touched Caroline reading your journey about your father & you & his funeral. I feel you were brave to go. love angela x
Thank you Angela. I appreciate you reading and feeling me. Lovexxx