Tuesday, June 01, 2004


it's ten years today since my dad died. he'd have been 59 this year.

it's easier now, mostly. but sometimes i just want to break stuff and scream at people and tear my teeth out.

he died of various cancers at 48, despite having never been a smoker or a drinker or anything else.

when i was a kid i believed that when people got old or near to death, some chemical or some mindset would kick in, making them accepting and calm and wise, ready to utter calming, graceful things at the end.

it appears not to be the case. my dad gripped the arms of the chair he died in, gritted his teeth, truly raged against the dying of the light. he died angry. really fucked off.

for my part, i waited till i was fairly sure he couldn't hear me till i told him i loved him. which is something that i'm ashamed of to this day.

there's been loads of death round me lately, in fact there always has been - i've been to 20 or more funerals already - close friends, family, colleagues. and when i see people going through what i went through i want to say something helpful but i can't. because i'm buggered if i can THINK of anything helpful. save perhaps 'now, of all times, don't expect too much of yourself.'

i'm still waiting for my psychotherapy referral to get processed. apparently i've never dealt with the grief. what the fuck does that mean anyway? it hurts, it will always hurt, and that's the deal. i'm not sure what else there is to it.

i couldn't cry for fucking months, not a thing. then i found this, by Billy Bragg of all people, and it provided the kind of push-button release in my brain that made it possible:


Kiss me goodnight and say my prayers
Leave the light on at the top of the stairs
Tell me the names of the stars up in the sky
A tree taps on the window pane
That feeling smothers me again
Daddy is it true that we all have to die

At the top of the stairs
Is darkness

I closed my eyes and when I looked
Your name was in the memorial book
and what had become of all the things we planned
I accepted the commiserations
Of all your friends and your relations
But there's some things I still don't understand

You were so tall
How could you fall?

Some photographs of a summer's day
A little boy's lifetime away
Is all I've left of everything we've done
Like a pale moon in a sunny sky
Death gazes down as I pass by
To remind me that I'm but my father's son

I offer up to you
This tribute
I offer up to you
This tank park salute

i had to help organise the funeral. i picked 3 elvis tunes. when they lowered the coffin it was American Trilogy, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. showbiz must be in our blood.

then i had to shake hands with people i didn't know or didn't care about and invite them back to my father's house and let these people drink his sherry and laugh and joke and i honestly wanted to kick their supercilious fucking faces in.

what the fuck.

posted by dubversion at 7:47 pm

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