I find myself baffled in my defeat, having stayed on guard and defensive for all possible sorts of daddy issued dilemmas, only to be blindsided by a plethora of ideas I hadn’t even considered.
Having worked my hardest to find balance against common themes of insecurity and the compensation of male validation in my teenage years, having reached 25 years emotionally intact overall as a dad-less lass, I thought myself basically spared, I thought the worst would have been done by now.
Maybe it’s because college isn’t eclipsing all of my anxiety anymore, but I am just now able to connect all of the assumed to be unrelated dots back to one common theme and cause: death and dying and where i’ll be if the dead isn’t me.
My paralyzing fears for my mother when she doesn’t answer the phone, the nagging feeling every time my partner leaves the house on any tedious errand, even the ache in my chest last week at a bonfire when everyone’s conversation happened to end the same moment that a big, beautiful moth flew into the flames, and having been burnt, fled, only to be drawn in again and again until the telling POP! in the fire forced us back to our own small talk, all of these feelings of anxiety root back to the intangible gone-ness of my papa.
Since my dad’s funeral, which I also did not attend, my mother has gone out of her way to shield me from death. In her own small gestural way, I think it’s how she thinks she can protect me from my dad dying all over again, even though it’s probably not me she’s protecting.
Missing the memorial services of my loved ones has done nothing however, but build my anxieties about the wreckage death leaves behind. I am on the upswing of a roller-coaster and it climbs, it climbs as the pressure in my stomach builds, and here in my imagination where my mind refuses to illustrate nothing but all of the possible death scenarios it can conjure, I am fully aware that the next time something close to me dies, I will crash down unprepared and miserable, ready only to dive down into the most gut-wrenching and unshielded depths of sadness or grief or– expectation, having really no understanding of the oblivion that awaits the wreckless griever, of how deep the spiral can go.