jmgoyder

wings and things

Chapter 13: Coming home [1978]

on August 27, 2021

Coming home from Sydney to my parents’ house, with one parent gone forever, felt like falling through cracks of ice into a freezing lake; my mother and two younger brothers and I were numb. During the few days before Dad’s funeral, Anthony came over and took me for a long drive but the only thing about our conversation that I remember was that he asked me to come back and look after his mother and I said yes.

I wrote a poem for my dad through a blur of shock and the priest who conducted the funeral read it out with a strange, exaggerated inflection so much so that I didn’t even recognise my own words. I remember being amazed at how many people came; my dad was a very popular chiropractor in our small town so many of his patients attended.

Anthony and John also attended and, at the cemetery, they led the special crowd following our hearse to the grave-site. I remember noticing this and feeling something good inside my devastation. At the grave-site, with some friends crying and others silent, I tried to squeeze some tears out of my eyes and couldn’t do it so I kind of faked it because it seemed terrible not to cry.

To this day, I feel a pang of remorse that I didn’t acknowledge the shock and grief my mother and brothers would have been experiencing that day especially, but all of the before-and-after days too. I took my own rather selfish grief into a silent hole of the undiagnosed depression I already had and buried it.

And when Anthony and his brother didn’t turn up for the wake, my disappointment was acute because I had hoped so much to see Anthony. Apparently, when a person is shocked and grief-stricken, they might feel as if they are playing a role in a movie and that was me. I wanted Anthony to somehow rescue me from the winter of that day but he didn’t.

I knew I would be resuming work for Anthony and his mother the following week so, at the end of that cold day in June, I felt the crush of joy creasing into my pain.

I had lost my dad.

I had come home to the love of my life.


3 responses to “Chapter 13: Coming home [1978]

  1. beth says:

    it was a day of very strong emotions of all kind for you, reactions are what they are and not to feel guilty about

  2. susanpoozan says:

    What an emotional roller coaster you went through.

  3. Oh yeah life is a roller coaster finding the love of your life is special

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: