This weekend for some unknown reason I was drawn to my father’s grave. When we buried him I didn’t expect it to be a place that I would go back to, except to take my daughter there to see it. He’s in an urn – well, a small box – buried at the foot of a gravestone. We added his name to the gravestone with family. On one side is my father, his parents, my grandmother’s sister who died at 16, and my grandmother’s parents. On the other side are my great-grandmother’s family – two brothers who died young, one very young, just over a year, her father and two wives.
I felt drawn there to talk to him this weekend.
I drove out at dusk and sat there. I don’t know if it’s inappropriate to sit in a graveyard, but I sat there, next to him. Thinking. Not thinking. Talking out loud.
I had no idea how I would mourn my father. None. I had actually wondered for years how it would feel when it died. It turns out I found out much sooner than I expected to.
It’s been over a year. I’m about to get my Masters degree. For over a year things have come up that I would have talked to my dad about, assignments I would have asked him to read, issues I would have debated with him. My kid has done a multitude of things I would have wanted him to know about and see.
So I sat there and I cried a little bit, and I wondered what I was doing. Sitting, feeling like I needed to stay for a while. Wishing I had taken a notebook. I don’t know why I wanted a notebook – to be able to draw or write or do something with the feelings and thoughts that I had there.
Perhaps all of this is part of that feeling of mild desperation I’ve had to write of draw, paint, sketch do something creative. It’s on my to-do list but it’s not an item I’ve gotten to in the past month.
Take a breath, do some yoga, take a walk, remind myself that I am part of my father and he is part of me. That somewhere inside of me is everything I need to move forward. His confidence, his willpower, his intelligence. If I am as much like him as my mother says then it’s there. I just need to take a step back and grab hold of it and start, one step at a time.