The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


A Little Bit Less Hurt …
January 14, 2011, 5:58 am
Filed under: Comment

So on Sunday it is my Dad’s anniversary.

12 years.

So much has happened in that period … good things … bad things … things I wish I could have talked to my Dad about and things I’m glad my Dad wasn’t there to see … but as I establish my second decade without him, I have to say I feel I am entering a new stage of the grieving process, a stage I didn’t know existed.

Guilt.

You see the thing is, I don’t think I think about my Dad enough.

When he first died he was always, obviously, always there … behind every thought or conversation … but just recently, I realise I don’t talk or think about him as much as I once did.

Now you could say that after 12 years that is only natural – and maybe that’s right – however it’s only until about a year or so ago that just the thought of my Dad had the capacity to make me cry.

I’ve written many times how I felt I kept the pain of his passing hidden inside a dark box that I didn’t want to open … not just because I didn’t want to come face-to-face with the pain, but because I still didn’t want to accept the fact he had really gone.

Really, truly, undeniably gone.

But for some reason that’s changing.


[The last meal out we had together as a family. Mum’s birthday, 1996]

Of course he’s still in my consciousness, however I now can openly refer to things he did or said without the emotional being revealed in all their painful and overwhelming glory, which is both a good thing and – as I said – one that makes me feel racked with guilt.

You see my Dad – like my Mum – was everything to me.

He guided me, nurtured me and – when necessary – bollocked me and without his influence and, if truth be known, safety net, I always felt I was walking a life of illusion where the next step could lead me into a dead end both personally, professionally and emotionally.

But now it’s different.

I still would give anything to hear his views and advice, but I feel a bit more in control of what I am trying to do … even though I still don’t really know what that is.

A lot of this change seems to have come after he came to say goodbye to me.

Remember that?

It’s the post where I said things that I naturally would consider madness?

Anyway, maybe that – and the simple fact 12 years is quite a long time – is part of the reason I feel a bit different, but whilst I know my Dad’s mischievous side would have loved that he could stop me in my tracks with just a memory or a stare, he’d be far happier to know his son feels a greater sense of optimism and encouragement about all life has to offer – and what he wants it to offer – than he has for quite a few years, because that was one of the key hopes and values he [and Mum] wanted/instilled in me.

So I guess he is still with me after all.

Love you Dad. And thank you.


17 Comments so far
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This is a very warm, open and honest post Rob, saying things many in similar situations may feel but not say. Your Dad was obviously (and still is) a huge influence on you and I know he would be overjoyed that you feel in a better/happier place.

For the record, you talk about your father more than most people I know and if anything this post made me feel guilty about how often I talk to my own father so I’m going to call him now. Thanks for reminding me what’s important.

You’re a good man Rob, will be thinking of you on Sunday.

Comment by Pete

Your version of not good enough is everyone elses version of amazing but only in parental love.

Comment by Billy Whizz

As far as I can see, you have nothing to be guilty about.

Comment by John

I agree with John, you have nothing to feel guilty about other than you show the rest of us up with how open you are about your feelings.

Comment by George

apparently feelings aren’t facts. that’s good to know sometimes. 🙂

Comment by lauren

He is part of everything you do Robert, which means you’re always thinking of him.

Comment by Lee Hill

i’ve met you in person two times. and on both occasions you told me wonderful anecdotes about your father that were so full and well rounded that I almost feel as though I might have met him myself.

please don’t feel guilty (if in fact you can control such a thing) he is living in who you are, and how you remember him by sharing him with me, and others you meet.

thank you for writing so openly.

I suspect it’s your ability to express your humanity so well (even the painful parts) that makes you so likable – even when you’re being a total asshole. 🙂

Comment by katiedreke

I may of said this before, but if my little boy thinks of me half of much as you think of your Dad, once I’m gone, I will consider myself very fortunate indeed

Comment by northern

You’re all very lovely and kind. Believe it or not, I didn’t write this fishing for compliments, but it’s very nice to receive.

For what it’s worth, I’ve just written Monday’s post and it’s back to my usual rabid vitriol. Talk about planning schizophrenia!

Comment by Rob

Just out of interest, I don’t think it schizophenia, men in general are beginning to do the ‘many sides to my personality thing’ don’t know if it’s freed up by newer multiple roles and adjusting to a more feminine world, or if it was there already, but I suspect it was the latter.
That’s why I think ‘man marketing’ is going to get interesting, hopefully a bit less about resolving conflict between wanting to a ‘man man’ and adapting to a more feminised society and more about ‘doublethink’ and accepting conflicting desires and sides to your own personality.

Anyway

Comment by northern

I agree NP – though I think the factors that are potentially driving it are even more interesting, but I’ve written about elements of that in the past [gender blending and the desire to try and restore the balance, albeit in less ‘traditional’ ways] and I have just realised I’ve booked 3 overlapping trips and if I don’t find a way to move them, my wife will kick me where it hurts … so until next time.

PS: I can take the hint, I’ll see what I can do to change Old Spice for you. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Hey Rob

This April, it’ll be 12 years for me too since I lost my dad. Reading your post has practically brought tears to my eyes, so I realise I have a while to go, before I can move on too.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep reading your tweets, which always brightens up my (usually dry) twitter stream.

Comment by Lise

Hi Lise, lovely to have you pop by and for what it’s worth, I personally think tears are a good thing, which is possibly why I feel guilty about not having them this year. But then it’s on Sunday and at 10:34am, it may be – and probably is – another thing altogether.

Take care of yourself, and it’s OK to cry because ultimately t’s a sign that they did right by you and that is the greatest thing a parent can do I think.

Comment by Rob

No need to feel guilty mate, I bet he’d be so proud that he influenced you so much. Your posts about him are always a good reminder to the rest of us to appreciate the people we have in our lives.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

sometimes you have no fucking idea do you campbell. you talk more about your old man than anyone i fucking know so what the fuck you have to feel guilty about is beyond me. hed was proud of you before and hed be even prouder of you now. sure it would be because you fleeced me out of a fortune but this is a special post so ill let you off. whether i will find it in my cold dark heart to let you off for the planner rambling wank of yesterday is another thing altofuckingether.

take care of yourself and mrs c. ill have a drink or 10 for your dad on sunday.

Comment by andy@cynic

Rob,

“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy”

I will email you.

Comment by naoko

[…] deep inside me … however after hearing what this lady said, I now knew the real reason why I have started to feel better about my life without Dad [well, not better, but not in as much pain] and that is basically because I have now […]

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