Waking at 3am, curled onto my side of the bed, with no memory of having slept; only a vague sense of loneliness, and loss. And then, an image of my father and myself on the roof at the apartment on Telegraph, an echo of dream I must have had, though it has the peculiar solidity of memory deeply held.
No idea why I should be dreaming of him again, so soon.
Except that I have been taking this walk down memory lane into my sexual history with W, and though those events are long past my father’s death, they must be triggering feelings & memories from that time.
I read somewhere, or perhaps heard in a class I once took on grief, death and dying, that adult children of parents that died before they, the children, had time to mature, are stuck in that psychological moment somehow, and that they (we) must actively learn to move, to grow beyond that. If we have had a chance to grow up before our parents die, our relationships with them have the chance to mature and grow into almost-peer relationships, which lends a sense of completeness to our shared history. We miss them, but we don’t need to show them anything more about ourselves, if that makes sense.
That is an absurd notion, when you think about it–what about children whose parents die when they are infants–and yet, sometimes, I feel an urge to revisit those feelings and thoughts, to parse through them, to figure out who I was before he died as opposed to who I became after. I do have that sense of incompleteness, of not having had the chance to fully form, to prove to him that I was better than the selfish girl I was at 15, and many of my dreams have that impetus to them, the desire show him something, to prove to him I really was worthy of his love.
I am sure the fact that I am listening to William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition may also be triggering some of this. Although the main character is well into adulthood when her father dies on 9/11, she is haunted by feelings of things left unsaid, undone. Because they can never be certain he actually died there, she never truly has a sense of closure. I understand this feeling, of wanting and needing closure, but knowing I will never have it, now. Of having left things unsaid.
I had not spoken to my father for several weeks before they found him, dead, on his kitchen floor. I was mad at him for not having loaned me $100.
W spoke last night about having to learn not to hold a grudge, about the damage that that kind of passive/aggressive behavior can wreak on a relationship. I think about refusing to take my father’s calls, and him being alone there in his apartment, night after night. I think about my brother waiting twenty years to get to know his family, to “forgive” them for whatever convoluted wrongs he had imagined they had done to him, and dying two weeks later.
Too late, too late.
I wonder if I will ever forgive myself.
And so I wake at 3am, holding myself away from Ad where he sleeps on the other side of the bed, refusing to allow myself the solace of another human being, of his warmth, and comfort.
I don’t deserve it.