My father was diagnosed with colon cancer this afternoon. They're going to treat it (radiation and then try to remove).
Here's a list of non-hierarchical factoids that are asking to be set in motion in some way, although the Buddhism soak that I've been doing for the past two years (texts, acting, not reacting) is still the floor of the whole thing:
He's 73. I'm 40. I'm adopted. His father died of lung cancer (smoking) before I was born. Bill Viola's THE PASSING. My kid is 21 months old. My mom's getting memory trouble. There are discussions about home help or moving or moving them. They are attached to the house, just like her parents (my grandparents) were to theirs also. I just got my full-time job this year; I've only just arrived. I still have no savings. My brother and family are local; they will do the ground work. The only three funerals I've been to IN MY LIFE were for grandparents. There was a guy in college who up and died of meningitis but I didn't know him well, only his circle. One could have seen this coming, with years of bad diet and the recent month-long urinary tract trouble and then the blood that one night. Practically disabling arthritis began in 1987 and progressed through the 1990s. I went to college and got married in that decade. When I got unmarried the first family member I told was my dad. I feel like I'm supposed to freak and I'm not, I know better, have more security than to be so obliged. As Irish Catholics, no one will feel this honestly up there in the Northeast; it'll all be muddled with stoniness. Within the past month, to try to acquire "parenting" or whatever that would mean, I imagined eulogizing my two parents. Interesting to have done that, now. He and I have always had strange honesty; anger, too; he's a Leo and I'm a Taurus; we are made for stout combat or good cooperation. The presence of other family makes that impossible, it's a two-person thing. I can tell from right now that it's one of the major things I will remember, no matter what happens, because it's the one thing that I can convey to someone else and that they WILL NOT SHARE. I can tell the much-told stories or generalize a personality or derive my own extroversion from his. But that dynamic that we share, that is OURS.
It is important to see "what can be felt" and to know how it differs from "what is felt." I had this when my grandfather died; what should I feel, what MUST I feel? No, no, what DO I feel, live in THAT question, because only that one is about your life.
When people are mourning I tell stories and generate conversation and laughter; that's what I do. I make the peace alone, always alone, by myself, either with the one involved or at the grave. Maybe my relationship with my father is the Ur-case of that model. It's not that we "go deep" or touch most anything that I've been candid about in these pages; it's not the content, it's the FORM of conversation, the dynamic of it. We have shallow conversations deeply. An unspoken, un-meta'd, depth. A felt depth, a true depth, and one we don't live in, but silently acknowledge. In that, everything is fine.