Reading Dad's Journals

My beloved Dad kept journals for many years. He died in 2008. And now I have to read them…

Where there’s a Will, there’s a [less stressful] Way…

Have you made a Will? If you’re under 50, you probably haven’t. According to the NSW government, at least 45% of Australians don’t have a valid Will. In America, it’s over 50%- that’s more than 157 million people!

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My friend Emma was getting ready to travel solo in South America about 12 years ago; she was 30, and her Mum and Dad insisted she made a Will before she left. She dropped me off a photocopy the day before her flight. I hid it away like an unlucky talisman, safe in the back of a drawer, praying I never had to use it. And I never did.

Is that the most common reluctance around Will-writing; that you’ll somehow bring on your death? According to American research, the top three reasons cited by survey respondents for not having a Will were procrastination, a belief that they don’t need one, and cost.

I can understand procrastination (says she, as weeks pass by between blog posts…). I can understand cost. But not needing one? Hello? Aren’t you ever going to die?

Last weekend, I had to call an ambulance at 3am for a friend (an ex- nurse, only 39, and fit as hell) who thought she was having a stroke. Numb all down her left side, droopy mouth, speech disturbance and confusion, shallow breathing, and a thumping headache. I thought she was having a stroke too. And so did the paramedics. After she’d been rushed to hospital, I curled up in shock on the couch and tried to get some sleep, waiting for her 3 children to wake up for school, wondering what I was going to tell them…

After multiple tests, a bout of vomiting, and the right medication, it turned out to be a rare form of migraine called a hemiplegic-migraine . That afternoon she was home safe, with everyone massively relieved of course. But I’d lain awake, worried sick, trying not to wonder where her Will was in case she died.

Because my Dad died without a valid Will. What a nightmare. Very stressful, and unnecessarily so, for all of us. But that’s a whole other story… [Or a film. It would make a great film. One day…]

Another friend just settled out of court after 2 years of dispute with her deceased father’s de facto wife, who sued for 50% of the family home, when he’d expressed that he wanted it shared equally between the 5 grown children and her. Another nightmare, and very stressful.

So do us all a favour: admit you’re going to die, and write a Will. In Australia you can get a Will kit from the Post Office or newsagent, for less than $15. I know it’s not an easy process, but for the sake of your loved ones, who will be thunderstruck with grief and loss, give them one less thing to worry about: let them know your wishes.

You can use a Will to express desires for the future education of your children (mine states that an amount of money is to be put aside for my son’s university fees and living costs for example). You can bequeath a gift to a charity, and distribute favourite possessions (my god daughter is getting my awesome car, and another friend my dear cat Yeti).

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You can think creatively about connections you want to maintain/nurture (I’ve left equal shares in my house to 2 different friends plus my son, so that hopefully a sense of ‘family’ continues between them). You can also express wishes for your funeral (plant me standing up in a ‘green’ coffin please, preferably near fruit trees), even down to the music you want to hear (bright clothes, happy stories, and a bit of loud disco dancing to send me off thanks).

So PLEASE, if you’ve had it on your ‘to-do’ list for ages, and keep letting it slide; if you’ve made a draft but haven’t signed it; if you wrote one 10 years ago before you had kids; if you’ve gotten married/divorced/been widowed; if 5 years has gone by and you haven’t reviewed it since then… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put a morning or afternoon aside this holidays to do it.

Because I can promise you this: procrastination never wins, costs can be kept minimal, and you ARE going to die.

There are many websites to give you advice on compiling your Will, suitable to your country and circumstances. Be kind to your loved ones: make your wishes clear to them, and for them. Choose your two executors wisely; exchange contact details between them. Distribute copies. Tell people you’ve done so. And review every 3 years.

It’s really that simple, to ease the stress on the ones you leave behind.

Simple yet profound.

6 gifts from Dad, 6 years since he died

My dear friend Shane was a solid support for me in the years after Dad died; he’d call regularly, and listen to me as I struggled or thrived. He was very present and generous, plus unfailingly sympathetic. Then his Dad Frank died. I drove across country to the funeral, and we celebrated the times of a simple man who’d lived a good life, respected in church, happily married, and whistling to himself contentedly right until the end, eating nothing but desserts.

Shane called me about a month later and said ‘I know I was there for you when your Dad died, but I’m ringing to say I actually had no idea what it was truly like did I?’ I kinda laughed and replied ‘I feel as though I went to live on another planet; the exact same style as this one, but for people who’ve lost their fathers. I’ve just been living there alone, waiting for my friends to join me one by one… So welcome, I guess.’ We laughed a sad laugh together, and another layer of our bond was laid down- the silver lining from our losses.

Now another close friend Pete is sitting beside his father as he approaches death; I’m holding them both in my thoughts, although I’ve never met his Dad. And again I’m readying a welcome to the new planet, the slightly blue planet, the sometimes-triggering-small-child-lost planet.

Today is the sixth year since my Dad passed on, and they definitely get easier. Not easy, but easier. This morning I went for my usual neighbourhood walk, listening to music while admiring people’s gardens, and I began to think about what Dad’s taught me since he left. I’ve certainly learnt about Resilience, and that Time really does heal all wounds, but here are my top six gifts from Dad, and I hope they resonate for you, dear readers who’ve lost loved ones, or inspire you to reflect on your own:

1. Acceptance/surrender/gratitude– It’s a cliché, but it’s true. We are all dying, and grief is as much of a guarantee in life as the good fun stuff like weddings, babies, and birthdays. The struggle for acceptance of loss can be short or long, easy or strong, but at some point, Life goes on without your beloved. You laugh again, you cry less, you stop thinking about them every day. Now, I reckon I only check in with Dad once a week or so, maybe less if I’m really busy. I’ve accepted his mortality, and thus my own. To surrender to that means I pay more attention to every day, every pleasure, every sunset. It means I have an up-to-date Will, that I take good care of my health, both physical and mental, and that I’m grateful for almost every day, even the shitty ones when I have to do my tax, or go to the dentist.

2. Family– This means ‘Family of Choice’ too, not just blood. My incredible cousin Jo was the rock that I leant upon to get myself through the first month, and so too my aforementioned ‘brother’ Shane. My ‘sister’ Kat continues to connect me through our history of dancing 5Rhythms, and through our creative journeys. My ‘ex-step Mum’ Suzanne feels closer than ever as the years progress, united as we are in our love for Ben, her son and my youngest brother; long term friends here in Australia know that today is ‘Dad’s day’ for me, when I retreat a little, and pay my respects. Dad was always the one ringing around, spreading the news and the tidbits, staying connected, and thereby connecting us all. Dad taught me about phone calls to family across the globe, and about making time to visit old friends, and I have a much greater appreciation of staying in touch with my widespread ‘family’ since he left.
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I still miss his fortnightly phone calls, and the sound of his cheery hello down the line though.

3. Food, esp raspberries– I have vivid, multiple memories of Dad fussing about the presentation of a dish, or the laying of the table (including napkins with special ring holders). I remember his small exclamation of delight as he tasted something he was cooking, or the playful rigmarole of trying out a new restaurant. Fish, cheese, wine: Dad’s favourites. And Indian of course, which remains a strong family tradition (you can guess what we’re having this evening can’t you?). He also loved raspberries, as do I. In fact, we scattered some of his ashes around the raspberry canes growing in his garden in Victoria, and although I’ve done the research, I haven’t yet tried to grow my own, despite wanting to. But I will. Nothing joins family and friends like good food, and for that Dad, I salute you.
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4. Being alone– I’ve always been independent, have often lived alone, and have travelled solo too. But when Dad died, I fell into a pit of loneliness from which I never thought I’d climb out. I slept with the light on in the hallway for at least 6 months, and had terrible nightmares that gave me insomnia. 3-5am is a lonely time to be awake, and no amount of Facebooking helps. In my deepest times of sadness, I met myself as a small child, lost and wandering, missing her Dad. Somehow we settled down together for a cup of make believe tea, and have been friends every since. Solitude now seems to be a privilege; contemplation and reflection are too, and every time I sit safely in my clean home or at the unpolluted beach, pondering life’s mysteries and gifts, I realize how happy I am to be alone, blessed with only temporary loneliness. Thanks Dad.
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5. History– You can’t change it. But you can change how you feel about it. And can be mindful of the new history you choose to create as you move through your present. My relationship with Dad wasn’t perfect- nor was his own relationship with himself or his other children. But losing him has given me the opportunity to focus on all the good stuff, and let go of the bad. I still know it, and lived it of course, as do my brothers, but I am responsible for how I react to it, and what I dwell on. So rest easy Dad; I’ve finally learnt to forgive us both for all our differences and clashes, even while I now struggle here sometimes with my wilful, moody fourteen year old son! Who, by the way, seems to have inherited your ‘card sharp’ tendencies, which I believe you got from your Mum… Not to mention your sense of humour and good story-telling…

Me and son Alby, July 2014

Me and son Alby, July 2014

6. Energy– When Dad died in Kauai, we had him cremated. We took turns to hold his warm, heavy, strangely-humming box of ashes as we drove to the sea. At sunset, we held a small ritual farewell, and threw some of his ashes into the ocean, so that he could keep travelling the world. We put ashes on his trees in Canada, and into the water that lapped at his garden. We three children each took some of him home to our lands: America, Norway, and Australia. He’s in the pond of the Japanese Gardens in Adelaide, and here at the beach near Byron Bay. He’s still moving, transforming, and growing. For me, he’s in the sunset colours, or beneath a beautiful piece of music. He’s in a leaping whale, a rustling tree, the grin of his grandson. He’s everywhere, in everything, yet also far beyond being tied into any one form. He echoes through the tears I cry sometimes, especially today. He giggles in the funny stories I tell, or sighs with me just as I fall asleep. He’s everywhere, in everything, an eternal energy added to every other lost parent, son, friend, and even foe.

He’s larger than he ever was; so big, he’s become a slightly blue planet, the welcoming-small-child-lost-then-found planet, home to us all, one by one.

Perhaps a comfort to those who’ve lost a loved one?

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am a diamond glint on snow.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.

Mary F Frye

Trigger me to write, why don’t you?

It started with a cracked brown jug. Under a grey sky, chirping birds, and a homework deadline. Or did it start with the flowers I put in the jug? I guess it’s hard to trace back the precise moment an emotion is created; slowly expanding down neural pathways, triggering related connections, sparking life into old circuits. Whatever the moment, it came into focus on Dad’s old jug, sitting on my timber shelf above the sink. I’d inherited it from his home in Canada, and this was only the second time I’d actually used it:

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It can be an insignificant moment, putting flowers into a vase. Some people do it every day, like florists for example. Or nurses in hospitals. Just an ordinary act: trimming the stems, removing an errant leaf, perhaps adding a pinch of sugar to the water.

Or it can be profound. The first bunch of flowers received from a new beau. A souvenir wedding bouquet for the lucky bridesmaid who caught it. A spontaneous gathering of wildflowers by a visiting grandchild. These posies seem more important, more valuable. Worthy of a grander vase perhaps?

My flowers smelt beautiful; Singapore lilies, mixed with various green leaves. They looked perfect in Dad’s old jug, and it felt good to dust it off. Then I thought about how often he’d used it, taking it down from the top shelf behind the door in his long kitchen. I remembered filling it with water, and once, with homemade lemonade that was a bit too tart, but I was trying to cut down on sugar.

I remembered peeling off the bubble wrap that had delivered it to my door in Australia after he died, praying that it wasn’t chipped or broken. I’d double bubbled it for the drive from Adelaide, and had kept it in the car with me and the meowing cat all the way up North to our new home.

Now the jug sits on my table, full of flowers, and I’ve been filled with memories of Dad. I haven’t written this blog for ages- months and months; I’ve been wondering if its time had finished? But this entry feels easy, a nice gentle return to the blogosphere. A reminder that inspiration can come from anything, at any time, and all we have to do is be open and ready for it. Plus, we need a good soundtrack:

http://youtu.be/RzMHMWjVZc0

 

It’s good to be back! Now what’s the last thing that jogged your memory about a lost loved one?

 

6.56am: from Paris arrived the black & white bomb

I can’t help myself: pretty much every morning when I wake up, I turn on my phone and check my emails. Rubbing the sleep away, squinting a little without my reading glasses, just connecting with the wide world to make sure I’m not missing anything important… Then I’ll proceed with my daily routine as usual.

This morning, an innocent photo image arrived from an old friend. He’s travelling with his wife in Europe, playing in the snow, wearing layers of clothes, while we back home swelter in 40+ degrees heat and bushfires.

It was like a small bomb detonated in my chest.

I began to sob; no thought, no delay, no control. Incredible. The power of the element of surprise hey?

I was soft, relaxed, as yet unguarded or prepared for my day. Interesting to realize later. So I just sat in bed and had a good cry; only lasted a few minutes. Then I replied with a thankyou, and asked permission to use the image for my blog. Here it is:

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Bombs come in many shapes don’t they, in as many shapes as we do? This one was mine. One of Dad’s favourite places in Paris, a place he took us every time my brother and I came to visit from our home in England. His partner at the time worked there too, so I really thought she was the coolest woman ever! We called it the ‘inside out building’, and delighted in riding the escalators up to the top, simply to come back down again.

That building, the Centre Pompidou, represented all to me that I didn’t have in my life back then: innovation, creativity, colour and texture, libraries of images, word, sound from across the world… And all free to access. I remember feeling as though my head and heart expanded every time we went there.

‘Centre Georges Pompidou’ link

No wonder I didn’t quite fit in at my small country school in Devon.

The ‘inside out building’ made me long to be different too; it encouraged me somehow, just standing there with its pipes and airducts on display, no shame in showing its construction and framework. It was strong, and simple. No airs. What you saw is what you got.

I sat on the bed and cried, not just for Dad, or his wonderful, favourite building. I cried a little for the complicated, checked/balanced/organised person I’ve necessarily become, managing a house and child and three jobs.

But it only takes a tiny black and white bomb to reveal to me my simplicity again, sitting there with my heart on display: a child who misses her Dad, and the wonder of the world he showed her.

 

 

My aunt Wendy says grief is selfish, yet I will still cry for Nelson.

I wrote this post about Nelson Mandela back in July; it seems pertinent to post it again, and play his song once more. Pass on in peace Nelson, your work is done; now it’s up to us.

With love and gratitude, gabrielle ❤

My aunt Wendy says grief is selfish, yet I will still cry for Nelson..

Was that Failure, or just Change?

For weeks, my diary had been marked ‘Nov 10- Day of the Dead’. Capital letters, and in pen, not pencil. I told friends about it; tried to cajole my teenage son into going; turned down other invites for that day; I was committed. In a previous post here, I’d written about how important I believe it is to remember and celebrate our ancestors, which is a significant national day in many parts of the world.

So I drove to my local park at the appointed hour, and was greeted by the fresh smell of incense, and the bubble of a hot urn for free herbal teas. Various brightly dressed people were putting finishing touches to the information display, and there was a sense of reverence, provided by the experienced organisers:

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I wandered, preparing myself to decorate a cloth flag, or to peg up an image or some words that would convey an essence of Dad. Other visitors were propping photos of their lost loved one among the exposed roots of the fig tree, and I leaned closer in to see their faces:

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And then a voice inside me said ‘No, I’m not doing this today. I want to go home.’

I took a deep breath, straightened my shoulders, and headed towards the pottery table, where I could mould a raw symbol of my love.

The voice got louder: ‘I am so not into this right now. And I’m SO not fucking playing with clay!”

Another deep breath. An attempt at self-negotiation: how about if I take a few steps back, snap some photos for my blog, and just relieve the pressure for a moment?

Good idea Gabrielle; no protest from within.

A quiet circling of the site, shooting from different angles, and then a soft advance toward the main tree branch again…

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…‘If you take one more step, or stay one more minute, I am going to have the biggest tantrum you’ve ever seen, including crying hysterically while flailing my arms and shoving off well-meaning mourners. I don’t want to share, and I don’t want to care. Get me outta here now!’

O………K…………. Looks like we’re leaving then.

I tried not to skip toward the car. But it was hard not to.

I tried not to drive away with a screeching of hot tyres. But it was hard not to.

It was impossible not to smile with relief.

So did I fail? Did I disrespect Dad by not staying? Was I cowardly?

I realized I just wasn’t ready. Intellectually, I love the idea, and want to make it a national holiday, but emotionally, I couldn’t cut it. Not that day anyway.

So I came home early, to my son’s surprise, and wasn’t in floods of tears, also to his surprise. We played cards, laughing and teasing, then cooked a delicious roast dinner together. Dad would have loved that, and I could almost feel him smiling as we two giggled and cooked.

Every day can be Day of the Dead: using the furniture we inherited from loved ones, or passing their photo in its special frame on the wall. A laugh or an attitude can be handed down across generations, while of course physical appearance is a direct link to our past. I can choose every day to acknowledge Dad, and to give him more attention if I feel like it, such as on his birthday. He would love me to listen to myself, and to not go through with something ‘because I’m supposed to, or because it’s what others expect.’

He would be just fine about me driving away from the park, and would have assured me I wasn’t ‘failing’.

Thanks Dad x

Five years since The Day

It was five years ago yesterday that I parked my car outside work, and noticed that my cousin Joanna had called me three times, and my uncle, her father, had rung twice. All within the last hour. Unusual. It’s a cliché, yet true: a sad mist of foreboding crept up around my ankles. I decided to wait until I’d taught my one-hour class before returning the calls… Half way through the session, the mist reached my stomach, and I began to feel sick. I can’t remember the last ten minutes; all I wanted to do was get outside into the fresh air, and call Jo.

Of course, by the time I did, mist had filled my throat, drowning my ears, making it difficult to breathe. Jo’s terrible, simple, trembling sentence, telling me that my Dad had suffered a massive heart attack while bushwalking, was barely audible. I almost didn’t hear the whisper…’ And he died.’

I’m leaving a blank here for all the stories I could fill in, but won’t.

Or can’t.

Not yet.

Perhaps never.

Yet always remembered.

But yesterday is five years since Lawrence died, and for once I didn’t cry. I wasn’t a complete sobbing, wracked mess like the first year. I wasn’t even worse, like the second. I wasn’t calmer, like the third. I wasn’t spiritual and special like the fourth. This year I was just, kind of, ‘normal’. I did the washing, made phonecalls, taught my class, and cooked lunch and dinner. I didn’t even have a solitary walk along the beach at sunset, my favourite communion.Image

[Dad’s ashes facing his last sunset on Kauai]

Yesterday felt like a day of evolution, or maturing somehow. A realisation that a process had been underway, whether I liked it or not, and that I was nearing the next phase- the simple fact of ‘getting on with life without Dad’.

The sweet smell of Essence of Russell

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I grew up in England from age 7-20. My reality was hugely influenced by the politics of Margaret Thatcher’s reign, including massive unemployment and youth disenfranchisement; read about it in one of my favourite posts HERE.

Comedian and actor Russell Brand is ten years younger than me, but with a similar experience it seems. Anyone who uses Facebook will surely have seen the link to his 10-minute interview by Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight?  PLEASE WATCH IT HERE.

The interview has inspired me to postpone my plans for today until I get this post done, as I cannot help but respond to the essential truth I hear and feel in what Russell is saying. We KNOW the real difference between wrong and right, and we must find the courage to accept it, then act on it, without excuse. Mr Brand articulates this perfectly, while acknowledging the path that led him to his sweet truth. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own political values, even though it’s Sunday, and I’d anticipated a lazy day avoiding housework, ignoring to-do lists, and perhaps only achieving a walk on the beach.

To elaborate: we have just had a federal election in Australia, where voting is compulsory. I knew the Liberal (Conservative) party was going to get in, as did we all. I cried all the way home from voting, knowing that my country and its marginalised citizens were shortly to be governed for at least three years, and possibly six, by uncaring, narrow minded, selfish bigots. Led by a sexist man who doesn’t believe in Climate Change. I cried on and off all day. So did many of my friends, according to their Facebook posts.

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Yet Russell hits it on the head, when asked by what authority he is entitled to talk about politics when he doesn’t even vote:

“I don’t get my authority from this pre-existing paradigm which is quite narrow and only serves a few people. I look elsewhere for alternatives that might be of service to humanity.”

He doesn’t vote, and never has, because he sees it as tacit agreement in the authority and worth of the political system he is being offered, and which he knows is wrong.

I know that people all around the world are fighting for the democratic right to vote, and that this argument is the main one used effectively by Australian friends who defeat my yearning to not vote. Of course I agree that everyone should be able to vote for the party they choose. Just as I agree that women should be able to vote, drive cars, wear whatever they want, and be paid the same wage as men for the same job. That children should be safe to go to school, and that everyone everywhere has access to fresh water, sewerage, electricity, food, healthcare, and employment.

But the majority of the Western world has all those things, and we’re STILL NOT CONTENTED. Massive inequities continue, all at the cost of the environment, and the poor. For example, I don’t understand how any American politician can vote against ‘Obamacare’; there’s a reason to never vote again right there. But it’s essential to understand that Russell and I are not commending political apathy. As citizens and consumers we each have tremendous power, and need to realize that.

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His interview has just given me renewed strength. Please watch it HERE if you haven’t already. As long as I obediently participate, I am validating our essentially flawed political system. As long as I accept that I am powerless to create the change I really want to see, and that the world really needs, I remain complicit in global destruction.

“You ask me what right do I have [to create a different political system]? I’ve taken the right. I don’t need the right from you. I don’t need the right from anybody. I’m taking it.”

Russell’s final words fired me up! He’s not calling for complete Anarchy. But he is calling for a revolution that prioritizes the environment, the redistribution of wealth, and the valuing of the disenfranchised. Whether you do it for your children, for refugees, for endangered animals and biodiversity, or for the memory of your grandmother, please join our Revolution.

19 October 1988

This week I decided I needed to get back on track reading Dad’s journals. Opened Diary 1 towards the beginning, and found this entry, with the words ‘Significant day’ circled in the margin:

 “19/10/88- Lying in bed for what seemed like an age, mind wouldn’t stop going over childhood memories, tears, sadness. Went to see J- [therapist], lots more tears as we talked about the same childhood memories, what home was like, what sort of relationship between parents… The universe is telling me ‘It’s enough!’; there have to be positive changes or I shall get sick, have an accident…”

Dad wrote that 25 years ago tomorrow. What incredible timing. And what fascinating yet difficult sentiments.

If I was asked to describe my personality challenges, I’d say that if I’m stressed, I lie in bed with my mind going round and round. I’d say that I cry easily. I’d admit that I constantly reflect on what I’m doing, and whether I’m happy and satisfied. And that if I’m not, I am likely to make a dramatic change- end a relationship/move house/change jobs. I think these qualities are all strengths and weaknesses of mine; the proverbial ‘double-edged sword’.

The coincidence of finding this entry in Dad’s journal, the month after I drove 3000kms across Australia to make positive changes in my personal life and career, astounds me.

It is hard to read of his pain and troubles, but I’m aware that perhaps I have learnt from his struggles? I’m sure many people who knew Lawrence would say he was a cheerful and positive person, perhaps annoyingly so sometimes! But over the years, he and I shared many sad feelings or experiences (as well as all the good stuff and giggles), and I don’t believe he fully resolved several important issues. Do we ever? It certainly isn’t easy. But the repercussions still influenced his behaviour and attitudes, including uncomfortable relationships with some close family.

His entry the next day closes with this:

“… More confirmation of what I’m already working out- that I come from a family where emotions and feelings were strictly taboo. Now I have to work out, with help, what that means to me!”

Dad, you’re English- it’s a national pastime, tabooing emotions. You’re also a man- you are culturally and genetically programmed to deny those pesky feelings of yours. With 25 more years of Western social evolution and psychological research, including the baby boomers’ obsession with ‘self-help’ books, I can categorically state that emotions are now very expressed, and very processed.

We have everything you need to know...

We have everything you need to know…

Shit still happens though. Parents remain poorly suited or stressed; children still learn negative reinforcement; gender stereotypes and inequalities perpetuate. But you did your work, and you died happy Dad, holidaying in Hawaii with your girlfriend. You took up multiple volunteer roles, and ballroom dancing. You shared many loving experiences with your immediate and extended family: you were the ‘glue’ that held us all together, with your fortnightly or monthly timetable of phone calls, relaying precious news, travel plans, and anniversaries, even across the globe.

I’m not saying you were perfect. I’m not saying you healed all your wounds. And I’m not saying you didn’t have more work to do. But perhaps there is always more? And maybe a key to peace within yourself is to acknowledge that you’ve done as much as you could with the skills, tools, and energy available to you? Some scars remain more vivid than others, but a healing process has still taken place. Even if it’s taken 25 years.

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