Take me home
He takes my hands in his, and at the same time waves them away in frustration.
He brings both his hands up, his arms shaky with effort.
He uses them to show us what he means. What he imagines we do not understand.
We are here, in this house, he says. Indicating to his left hand. Now closed over into a fist.
And I want to be in this house in front, he says. Indicating with his right fist, abutting it onto the left.
I am here (left). I want to be here (right).
He imagines we do not understand. Our reluctance to take him home to the front house is due to lack of knowledge he needs to help us regain.
In his dying desire to go home, to be untethered from this life, to be home in the old house, he has himself forgotten. Forgotten that it is no longer open to us, that others live there momentarily. Forgotten that he is no longer able, with his remaining physical strength, to make it to the house in front.
Eventually he lets go, collapses back into the pillows, and shakes his head at his children by the bedside. In his mind, we are ignorant of what he wants, in ours, deeply unable to fulfil his wish.
A sudden sadness envelopes me – after a lifetime of moving, of globetrotting, of engaging with curiosity everything the world had to offer, he truly is ready to go home, ready to rest in the silence of eternity.
A reframe was needed.
Dad, you are home. You are safe. We are all here with you. We love you. You can let go.
I don’t know if it registered. At half past midnight on the night he died I found him still efforting his fragile dying frame out of bed, willing himself up, and perhaps still determined, to get to the front house to die.
Something or someone there was calling to him, he never could say, but as his spirit soared free I imagined he passed through the front house to answer the call of whatever it was that drew him there.
And then all was quiet.
And an eternity of silence followed.
How are you? they ask. So many people enquiring. Demonstrating they care. Showing that I matter. I am okay, I say, not really sure yet. Things are slow, and I am being slow with how the year unfolds. Slow with how quickly I venture out again beyond myself. I know this time is important. And not to be rushed. I am not so much feeling intense grief than rather large and deep tectonic shifts in how I now inhabit the world. Not much rippling on the surface, but deep ocean surges bringing their own tidal waves with them, in time.
With the death of my father, both my parents now, and having these past two years moved across the ocean to a new land, I feel cut adrift like never before. Somehow find myself completely disconnected from the ‘old countries of my soul’ and wondering about the land I now find myself standing in. It may finally be time to be a grown up, and step into my own creative power. But for now I often feel lost and sad. That too is okay.