(123) Dad, I missed you so much

Dad, I missed you so much

The story starts with the only time I can consciously remember seeing my father. It ends with the enormous loss during the upbringing of my son. Yes Dad, I missed you so much … afterwards.

As a 3-year-old, I can still remember very well the image of my father about which the story in this blog is about. There are other images, but … these have been photos that have gradually disappeared over the years due to the many removals. That one image, 70 years ago now, which this blog is about, is still crystal-clear to me. However, it seems as if I am now looking through a magnifying glass. I see my father’s face in every detail. The rest of the space he is in, is blurred.

As I now remember it
As a 3-year-old, I see myself on my knees in the hallway of my grandparents' house and play with my grandfathers's blue-grey wooden toolbox.
The toolbox

As a 3-year-old, I see myself on my knees in the hallway of my grandparents’ house and play with my grandfathers’s blue-grey wooden toolbox. I finally got the lid open and nothing was in the box. From the noises behind me I could hear that my grandmother was busy in the kitchen. Furthermore the house was quiet, very quiet and … the way I now experience it again and letting the feeling of that moment come to me … the house feels as if it waited for something … as if something very intense … something very important was about to happen.

Then the front door opens, and my mother comes in. As soon as she sees me, there is a big smile on her face, and I am glad to see her again. She asks if I will go with her to my Father. Of course, I want to. She picks me up and carries me upstairs to the room where my Father is resting. It is the room I am never allowed to enter. He has tuberculosis and everyone is so terrified that he could infect me that I was certainly not allowed to go to him.

My Father has just woken up and while my Mother is sitting with me on her lap on the floor, away from the bed, he is turning on his side. When he sees me, a radiant smile appears on his face. His eyes are shining all over, he is so happy. So much energy and love he radiates to me. It is a contact from eye to eye … from soul to soul … short and intense. It feels like a farewell … as if he knows he will never see me again.

My mother lifted me up again and we went back downstairs. It was far too short. I wanted to go back to him, but it was not allowed. They were so afraid that I would also be infected with TB. That just wasn’t goingto happen.

Years later

Years later I heard from my Mother that my Father had died a few weeks later. My Mother and Grandparents never really wanted to talk about my Father; that’s how it felt with me. Only many years later during the upbringing of Mervyn, my son, I started to miss my Father enormously. I would have liked so much to talk to him about raising a son. How would he have raised me and what would he have run into? What else would he have wanted to do differently afterwards? So that I wouldn’t have had to raise my Son with “trial and error”. As a father to my son, the number of failures is in stark contrast to the bits that succeeded. Unfortunately, my Father was not allowed to experience my upbringing and that of his grandchild. Dad, I missed you so much!

What I became aware of again

What I realised again while writing this blog is that memory is a fantastic tool. You can’t retrieve everything from your memory just like that. It usually requires triggers, such as a smell, a colour, a sound, an image, or an emotion. One of the triggers with me was a journey through my soul where you go back to your past under hypnosis. Another trigger recently was during a training about loss and mourning in young people. What I now also realise … realise again … is that the consequences of loss and mourning can surface again (many) years later. Time does not heal all wounds, there will always be scars left. It is what it is.

(64) Unconditional Acceptance

At first unconditional acceptance is not directed to the other, but to yourself. When you fully trust yourself and accept completely who you are including all your limitations, only then you are able to accept another unconditionally.

Onvoorwaardelijke acceptatie - shutterstock_223911598 - reducedOn the Internet you can find many definitions of acceptance. The definition of acceptance that comes closest to the intention of this month’s blog is, in my opinion, unquestionable.

In our daily practice we often accept events without really thinking about it. For example, the queue at the cash register, or a traffic jam, or a delay in the public transport.

It also happens that we accept under certain conditions. You’ve put your heart into the making of a meal for a special occasion. When buying the necessary ingredients, you may find these not good enough or maybe even too expensive. At that (same) moment you may consider how to prepare that meal in a different way.

We also say that we accept a situation, but in reality we don’t. How often does one hear at funerals people saying to the widow(er) that they will come and see him or her, or that he or she must join them for dinner. The thing is, it hardly happens. In comparison the phrase “a ceiling made from glass” which is in use in companies, I use the phrase “a door made from glass” for people who lost a dear one. People accept that the relation between you and your partner doesn’t exist anymore, and yet… they avoid you.

Unconditional means without conditions or without making demands. Unconditional also means without limitation, or without consideration, or without hesitation. Sometimes it also means blindly, or absolute, or pure.

Acceptance is not simple in itself, but when it is unconditional it becomes very difficult. What about for example “I accept you unconditional!” In other words, “I accept you without hesitation and consideration who you are, what you are, and what you have done and do. It doesn’t matter, I accept you blindly without any limitation… always!”

You might say “Yes, but, experience or history taught…” When you say words like these then at that same moment you don’t accept unconditional.

Maybe you can define unconditional acceptance also as pure love. A form of love that is attributed to the very Highest in believe systems. That doesn’t mean that unconditional acceptance is impossible for us humans… on the contrary. It may not be pure, but some of us come very close. Think for instance at the love of a mother for her child. Or think of the unconditional acceptance of two lovers; lovers who trust each other blindly.

At first unconditional acceptance is not directed to the other, but to yourself. When you fully trust yourself and accept completely who you are including all your limitations, only then you are able to accept another unconditionally. That is quite a bit!

Two lovers who trust each other blindly come, in my opinion, regarding unconditional acceptance a long way. And the deeper their relation becomes the closer those people come to the real meaning of unconditional acceptance of each other. Isn’t that awesome!

However, how awesome this is for these two people, when such a relation is broken for whatever reason, the grief of such a loss is immeasurable. The processing of that grief will take “a while.” It may be even the case that at some point in time others are beginning to wander why the grief has not been processed. But on the other hand those others should also be able to accept that (unconditional).