A Post About A Dead Dad
I’ve written a few things about my dad in the past but nothing public as such. My thoughts, in writing, declared my hate for him and everything he did apart from the one great thing which was unwittingly getting me into Batman and my self confessed nerdgasm over the character and lore.
Every memory of him is a bad one pretty much and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot more than I remember.
Today, I found out he’s dead. About 17 years ago I spoke to him last. Well, I say spoke to…I told him to “fuck off”. Never said a word to him since. I’d seen him around. My mu would cross the street if they were to walk towards each other. I would remain on the same side and walk towards him, head up high and he would bow his head down as we approached each other. He wouldn’t even look me in the eye.
I have wished him dead for years. A slow, painful death. What with hi claiming to have had cancer and fuck knows what else yet they were all lies. Someone like that deserves to suffer, right? It’s a mockery of those truly afflicted to have someone freely tout that rubbish for sympathy and whatever other motives.
So why do I feel bad? Why, after speaking with my sister who broke the news, do I feel like my head is about to explode and I can’t concentrate? When she told me, I was fine. Straight-faced, somewhat bemused as I thought there was a true cause for concern that she had rang me outta the blue to find out it was just this news. I should feel happy he’s gone. I’ve wanted it for so long.
Is it because he died of a stroke…something not so long and torturous as I wished for almost 2 decades? Did he not die how I feel he deserved to? Or is it, that when faced with my wish I have some semblance of regret? Do I wish I’d had some level of contact with him especially since he has 2 grandchildren he has never met or seen? Is it because I regret him not seeing me live my life and gain independence and reach the milestones most other parents see their children go through as a means of rubbing his nose in it and saying “I did it thanks to Mum and myself”?
Surely this is fantastic psychology fodder to have me analysed and made to feel like some sort of case or disorder. Perhaps I feel bad as a subconscious mix of all of the above but most of all the fact that to relish in someone’s demise such as this would make me a “bad person”. That I must be truly evil to feel like this and by being that evil it makes me no different to him so the fact that I refuse to be put in the same category as him makes me feel guilty to absolve me of my darkest wish and make me feel like a better person. Bad people feel no shame nor guilt, right?
I don’t know how I am meant to be or feel. The conflict within my head is making me feel something about his death when I always said, and as far as I was concerned, I wouldn’t feel a thing. I wouldn’t care. I don’t care in the traditional sense of caring but, how can I feel nothing when…as much as I would love it not to be true, he made me. I am who I am because of him. His actions and impact on my life allowed me to use him as a role model like all other kids did with their fathers…however mine was the opposite. The Bizarro to my friends’ Superman dads. The Owlman to Batman. He was the model in my mind of what not to be. So, by not behaving like him and treating people the way he did I could become a good person. Moulding myself around my own version of nurture/nature.
Perhaps I feel bad for the grief I gave my mum for being stupid and not having protected sex causing me to be conceived when, for most of my life, I wished I was dead and they had never met. The impact my arrival had on my brother and sister who were not his bloodline. The fact he told my mum that as long as I am alive she will suffer. That as long as I live, so does he. Almost like lines from a classic horror/thriller movie.
Maybe it’s similar to the classic tale of vengeance when someone has wronged you and you exact your revenge only to feel that it gets you nowhere because you still feel hollow and empty inside. The hatred I had towards him was also aimed at myself meaning that with him gone…my hatred has nowhere to be focused other than myself now.
It may also be down to the fact that it puts into perspective my own mortality. When a family member dies you move up a notch in terms of “being next” if you class “next ” in the traditional sense of age being the deciding factor on who goes first. It can also bring into question my other family members that remain that are also older than myself causing me to feel isolated in regards to feeling like we’re dropping off one by one.
My feeling bad may not be due to him per se but the fact that death inches closer to my generation and the ones just above me, feeling like Paul Edgecombe in ‘The Green Mile’ watching everyone around him die as he plods on through life.
I guess there’s no real answer or, for a better way of putting it, a ‘proper’ answer. The fact I have suggested certain thought processes and invocations of feeling must mean that there are at least trace elements of them racing through my mind causing me to feel bewildered and mentally burdened.
What makes me wonder more is…what if I never knew and never ever found out? Ignorance is bliss.