In memoriam: George Charles Luis
1931-11-23 — 1987-12-28
Every year I write something on the 28th of December, ostensibly to mark your passing. Some years it’s cheerful, others it’s maudlin or angry – but never does it touch on how today, 27 years ago, my world came crashing down and I broke, inside.
The worst phone call in the world came early in the morning. I was only 13. I cried. At first…but then after a few minutes, I had to leave the house – I couldn’t deal with all the intense emotions of everyone around me.
I cycled and I thought and I thought and I cycled. My tears wouldn’t bring you back. Sulking and sadness would not undo the fatal aneurysm that robbed me of a father.
I stopped crying and I stopped feeling and I went on with my life. I learned something incredibly powerful that day – that I didn’t have to feel the shit feelings and the sadness and the cruelty of life and death.
I used this lesson well. When I was bullied at school, I cried not for me – but for mum; she’d had a hard life and was very protective – she didn’t need to deal with a young son too wimpish to stand up against the bullies. I never cried for myself.
When mum died, and then later our stepmum died, I didn’t feel. I intellectualised. I justified. I distracted with drama and life and drugs. I did a million different things; I didn’t feel. I never mourned.
I’m 40 now, and my inability to grieve and mourn is getting in the way. It was easier for me to reach out to Cris and wallow in the wreckage of our destructive relationship, recently, rather than go through the grieving process and mourn the end of 18 years of friendship.
I’m 40 now…and I’m about to start therapy so I can knock down the dam wall and release the flood of 27 years of not feeling the loss.
I’m ready to say goodbye, Dad. Are you ready to let me go?
© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.