I’m not well-acquainted with grief, personal grief. I don’t know its stages, haven’t read studies on how long it lasts. I’m still able to say I’ve only been to a handful of funerals, mostly because I avoid them. I don’t want closure, I’ll remember them living, thank you very much.
I realize now, how cautious I am about the amount of emotion I release into situations I deal with. Looking back over the past year or two, I see the pattern. I see how tightly I hold myself in check. It isn’t until I’m caught off guard, till someone finds that bare patch of flesh I don’t know I have, that I begin to understand the scope of the maelstrom I hold leashed inside me. I thought about Spank Me today, with almost a sense of yearning.
In the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a front row seat at the fire in my soul. Helplessly scorched as I watch him build sand castles from beaches he never visited, I shake my fist at him in impotent fury. Finally forced to abandon my Facebook feed because everything he posts he tags with her sweet name, I work on repairing the cast iron doors that keep it all enclosed. I weld and seal, sure I can fill the gaps, stop the painful flares.
As the melted iron drips on my shaking hands, I curse him for his lip service to a job he never bothered with while she was alive.
Meanwhile, the man who shouldered the actual responsibilities of her father mourns quietly, respecting the shattered feelings of her mother and younger brother. He asked permission to come and tell her goodbye.
The father that couldn’t be bothered with a living daughter, called the M.E. and Mortuary and invited himself.
On that last day, the day we all took our turns saying goodbye, step-dad approached me and asked if it was a good time to talk to her mother. His respect and careful handling of the situation, let us feel protected for a moment.
I entered the Mortuary shortly thereafter to find him taking a moment with her for himself, suddenly available for her now. He had not even the thought of waiting until her mother came in. It has always been about him. I know that. He shows up when she reflects prettily upon him, where there is limelight to share.
I want him to disappear off my radar again. I want to tear him limb from limb for daring to act the bereaved father when he never bothered to act the responsible one. I want to scream at the top of my lungs his deceit. I want the world to know the right of DNA is the only thing he ever willingly shared with her. I want everyone to shun the sappy, sloppy walk down a memory lane he’s cobbled from her memoirs.
I want to scream, and rage, and cry at the offensiveness of it all.
Instead, I drop my visor and resume my repairs.