On the 2nd of October, I lost one of the strongest rocks that I have ever leaned on. Since, I have not written something that could account how I truly felt about what happened. Those that I have written about it have been too shallow to even begin how I really felt. It’s because I felt scared to even think about it, and probably because I felt the need to hold myself together. Being the eldest in the family, I felt the need to be strong for my family and not show any sign of vulnerability at any moment. For the days that followed (about 55 days) I detached, alienated, myself from any emotion. I thought only of the many things that I needed to do during my 3-week leave.
After spending time with my family, I had to go back Cebu City where I work as a Research Analyst. Those moments of solitude, away from my family and away from the people I have been carefully hiding my feelings from, have been were one of the darkest ones I’ve ever had, and mind you I’ve had very dark days. I have never felt so emotionally stripped down, naked, so vulnerable; even though I was physically overdressed.
A good friend of mine told me that I had to go through such feelings, no matter how difficult, just to move on. She was right. I didn’t realize that I had been in denial. I knew he was physically gone, but that was just that. I tend to rationalize things. I kept on rationalizing these events, ridding these thoughts of any emotional association. I tried to find reasons explaining this foreign phenomenon (that was how I really considered it at that time), convincing other people that it was okay or it was for the better, when in fact it was I that needed the convincing. Processing my own emotions was a feat in itself; that had been my Achilles’ heel since time immemorial. What made this ordeal even harder was trying to recall when the last time I got to talk with my dad. In all honesty, I don’t remember. The only thing that I could remember was telling him that I love him. How could I not remember our last conversation? But then again, it didn’t really matter. What happened happened. I am contented with the fact that I told him those words, and that those were the last words I ever told him.
On the brighter side of things, the event drew us closer as a family. It placed things in perspective, and I know each of us was able to take something valuable (in terms of life lesson 🙂 that is).
My dad may not have been the perfect man, husband, or father…but he was perfectly imperfect. Had it not been for his imperfections, I would not be the stronger and better person I am now. And for that I am grateful.
My dad was a selfless person who had helped countless others…that is his legacy. A legacy that I hope I could continue.