Here it is.
My father died last night. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s a fact. I can’t find a different way to state it.
I’m supposed to be crying. I’m supposed to be sobbing my eyes out. Isn’t that what people do when they grieve? When my mom called to tell me, I felt a little moisture in the corner of my eye. But I’m not really sure if it was a tear.
I guess that I’m reacting this way because I’ve been expecting it, and in a way I subconsciously prepared myself for it. I knew that he was dying, this despite the fact that his death was unexpected.
My father and I weren’t close. We never really were. I can remember a few good times from when I was a child, but as I grew older those times became less and less.
It’s difficult for me to say this, because the people who knew him from work and as a friend didn’t know him the way that I knew him, and that’s why they don’t understand. They think I’m cold. Maybe they’re right. I guess I’m a bit of a monster. But I’m the monster that he created. People think that I didn’t know him, but in a strange way I was probably the person who knew him best, this despite the fact that he never really knew me at all.
I don’t know if he ever truly wanted to be a father. If he did, I wasn’t the child that he envisioned. I didn’t play rugby. I didn’t like fishing. And I wanted to be an actor. We fought. A lot. As the years went by, I think he realized that he couldn’t change me. My will was too strong. So he accepted me, in his way.
I’m trying to remember what we spoke about the last time that I saw him, but I can’t remember. It was probably about something trivial.
In the past two months or so, I knew that he was going to die. He didn’t have the most healthy lifestyle, and he had a minor stroke. This slightly affected his one leg. He was weaker than before and I could see it. I knew. I knew it was coming. When my mom told me yesterday that he showed up at her flat telling her that he was feeling unwell, I knew. When she didn’t send a message to say good night, I knew. While I was sleeping, I dreamt that I was fighting with him. I was telling him that he wouldn’t be in this mess if he hadn’t damaged his body so badly with his addictions.
When my cell phone rang and I saw that it was my mom calling, I knew what she was about to tell me. And then she confirmed it.
A friend of mine said that perhaps my reason for not crying was because I had already grieved. And then it made sense to me. I have been grieving for him all these years. When my friend, my grandmother, even my cat died it shook me to my core, but I’ve been grieving for my father long before his death. Because although I had a father, I never had a dad. We never had that close connection that fathers and sons are supposed to have. I don’t blame him for this anymore. We were too different. You can’t force something to work when it never did.
My father, Pierre Lombard, was a good person. He made mistakes, big mistakes that cost him and his family dearly. But people make mistakes and there is nothing to say about that now. He tried very hard, but the odds were against him. I hope that he was happy in his final years. I hope that he has peace now. I know that despite everything that happened between us he did love me, although he rarely said it.
The last time that he said he loved me was in February of 2012. We were having a telephone conversation and I was homesick after recently moving to Pretoria. He said that he loved me. It was all I ever wanted to hear him say. But when he said it I was so stunned that I couldn’t get myself to say it back. I just said “Okay” and ended the call. he never said it again and I knew that it was my fault.
I am not innocent in this.
But in my own way I loved him too.
“I drive around like nothing here has changed. But I know the sky has one more cloud to break. And I was gonna tell you I wish all our wrongs could be right. I’m too late. I looked in my rearview, and now I don’t see you.” ~ Anastacia