How to bury a stanger... My dad

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
How to bury a stranger... My dad. Explains my emotions while planning my dad's funeral a couple of weeks ago.

Submitted: February 18, 2013

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Submitted: February 18, 2013




To bury a stranger… my dad

I flew to my country of birth, it took six hours, drove five hours across county... Finally I got home. I started the preparations for the funeral and the memorial. It was hard writing my dad's obituary... that is how I found out his first name and his birthday. It seemed surreal in many ways. At his funeral, there were no flowers, no wailing no mourning. My sisters and brother did not show up to his funeral and it seemed like my father was simply erased from existence with no one to regret his lost. It was disconcerting, in a way I wanted to relate to him I wanted to bring good memories to mind, but in return I got nothing but silence and emptiness. This man that I never related to was my biological dad… but he was certainly not my father. I realized that I had nothing to tie me to him, not a single smile, a single pleasant or unpleasant memory to recall. No a single instant in which I was connected to his soul. He existed, he labored, walked this earth and like a flash of light he was gone with no one to lament his death… no one to say good bye but a strange daughter who knew as much about him as the next stranger in the streets.

At his grave site, not a single candle, not a single flower, no a picture to remind anyone that this human being existed; and was now gone forever. I knelt down at his grave site; and my tears fell on the earth… the soil that now engulfed his body... Hi I said... I am here, I do not know if it means anything at all… I know I never knew you, but I am your daughter and I care that you are gone. I laid flowers and lit a candle; I wiped my tears; and I felt a breeze that made my hair flow in the air... like a caressing father would say hi to his lost daughter. The closest I have ever been to my biological dad… close yet separated by soil… the soil that make a huge distinction between who is dead and who is alive. The connection lasted maybe one minute, I got up and left the cemetery... the weather cold and rainy... it was the longest walk of my life. I went back to the house where my dad once lived… the place now frigid with the sting of absence, silence and emptiness, but warm with all the memories that I missed. This house now seemed like an abandoned nest left to decay in the clutches of oblivion. As I sat down to plan and arrange a small memorial for my dad… I wanted desperately not to lose momentum and orchestrate a memorial where the rest of my dad’s family could celebrate his existence. However, something estrange happened during this memorial, his brother and sisters, cousins and friends showed up and mingled. Yet no one shared a single good memory of my dad’s existence. These were just people busy with their lives, their kids, their spouses, a life that had no room for my dad who is now forever gone. My sister who grew up with him uncaring, she never made it to the cemetery, my brother never responded to the request for him to attend my dad's memorial. No one said much about Federico; saying his name seem so alien to me now. After the memorial I went home… to the place where I grew up…I hugged my adoptive dad. I held on to him for a long time... I felt like I did the right thing, I gave my biological dad a burial. Now I was receiving love and support from my father like I always have. I tried to celebrate my dad’s life in a small memorial. I followed the catholic tradition and paid for a mass in my dad’s memory. I bought flowers and filled his altar; yet I was not there for my dad as he died... I wish I was. Maybe I could have done more. I could have somehow helped more. I made no effort to be close to my dad, because I had a father and my life has been filled with memories of my father. I just felt that getting close to my biological dad was a betrayal to the adoptive father who had given me everything.... Now I wonder if I erred in the way I interacted with my biological dad. I will never know. My only consolation is that I gave him the proper good bye; I did try to help him for the past ten years, but I was always reluctant to get emotionally involved. Now it’s all done. In my mind it is simple; I had a dad who gave me life and a father who gave me a life. The two were and never will be the same.

Now I am nostalgic maybe, no in a romantic way, nor do I felt sorrow and regret that will make me bitter, happy or sad... I find myself appreciating things as they are. The perfect imperfection.... Life is just perfect the way it is. I think I am at a point where I realize now that the only things that matter are those to which I pour my heart into. I poured my heart into loving my father, and I poured my heart into giving my dad a proper good bye.


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