Wednesday, 27 February 2008
When my father died i was in Copenhagen discovering sex and rarely leaving the bedroom i shared with my girlfriend except to go to the beach to continue our experimentation.
My family knew none of this but somehow a letter found me in time to inform me of his funeral.
I have a vague memory of the event, of only seeing a coffin from afar, and standing around afterwards on the gravel path talking to my aunt, his sister.
So for me my father just disappeared. One day he was there, a looming presence anticipated in every footstep heard on the communal staircase outside my lovemaking, the next he was gone and I had never seen the passing.
All that remained was the letter posted just before his death and I held onto it, subconsciously believing that one day he would reappear.
I think his ashes were placed on the earth in Devon where he was living at the time and probably had little special meaning for him, given a choice now I would not know what to do with them and I would probably put them on a shelf in the shed.
In my late twenties I went weekly to see a counsellor, maybe a therapist, and one time he asked me to do some imaging with pillows to represent my parents. I had to place the pillows in the room where I felt comfortable. My father’s pillow ended up outside the closed window.
Accepting him has not been particularly painful; it just took me a long time.