One Year Ago Today, My Father Died Alone in Lockdown

one year ago today, father died alone in lockdown –

it was “illegal” to be with him

in his greatest time of need.

those 25 days between landing back here

and him breathing his last

in a cold, stale, lifeless room – alone.

i remember at three months i wrote:

how does one ever get over something like this?

now – nine months after that moment –

i still don’t know.

will i ever?

i was robbed of the most precious moment

it was taken away, kept away

something you can never get back.

it’s not that he died –

it’s the way he died – alone.

inhumane, heartless, heartbreaking, heart-wrenching –

no one should EVER be forced to die alone. period.

it’s just, SO wrong.

and.

it’s that i never got to say goodbye,

there was no closure,

i didn’t chant him out with our lineage’s last rites:

~ om namah shivaya om tat sat x 108 ~

something so very important was left undone,

something so very important was not respected,

only dismissed – branded with fear, control.

and.

father died prematurely due to covid restrictions,

his light, his spirit – dimmed – before he was ready to do so, before he was ready to depart,

(before the care home isolation, he had made it very clear – he wasn’t ready to go yet.)

but when you are forced into a locked room alone, what is there left to live for?

(he spent 10 of 21 days in isolation, within his three short weeks in the care home – a lockdown within a lockdown – what the fuck?).

and:

we grieved alone,

from the very start.

what a contrast to the 300 people who showed up for our mother’s funeral,

to the house full of family and friends who came every day for weeks.

we are still waiting to have a celebration of life for our dear father…

so much healing snatched away, poof.

now:

a hollowness in my heart remains

grief in my lungs remains

heartache remains

residual anger remains.

all of this phenomenon is not acute

like it once was

and yet – still present in some form.

i still witness the sad eyes in my smile.

trauma is stored in the cells

key events activate it

and my system, it’s activated:

sleeps short

breath short

brain fogged

system overwhelmed

exhaustion happening –

all of the expressions (and then some) that i had for the first five months following father’s tragic departure –

that moment when the system was shocked,

right to the core

like it’s never been rocked before.

i know this place, well

i have been trained for it

so i go through it

engage the motions of self care, of loving self, of practice, of trust –

they are the pillars that hold this temple up.

the very foundation of this particular year, this particular life journey.

my life is fuller than it has been since that horrifying day, time, weeks, months –

most often it’s too much to hold –

so i say no, i draw boundaries, i rest, i prioritize self care, healing –

and some things get dropped.

finding the balance with reaching out

and being alone.

my solitude is my replenishment, my resting place

engagement is heartwarming, supportive.

and a support system is so key

it’s certainly a deepening into; a gift – from father’s exit:

the ability to ask for help, to receive

and to be witnessed in my pain

there is a deep healing in this every time, for everyone.

while some friendships have fallen away,

new friends have truly shown up,

other friendships have deepened.

perhaps it’s not about “getting over it”

but rather, moving with it

making space for it

amid everything else unfolding.

that it moves as the epicentre – for now.

in the mean time –

i slowly begin to notice the gifts father left

i begin to pick them up

turn them around in my soul, in my being

feel into them

and begin to gradually act upon them –

thank you, thank you, a thousand times – thank you.

with parents now gone –

what i’ve learned about grief is:

that it never goes away

it just changes over time

ebb, flow

and you live with both it

and the gratitude – for what was,

and what Is.

the essence of our loved one

lives through us now.

grief, tragedy – it changes you

you become a different person

it demands a refinement of one’s life –

in the deepest, truest sense

people, friends, belief systems, fears, projects, work, etc. fall away

a clarity reveals itself –

new forms within this form, come into Being

an uncharted softness,

present.

~ satya


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