Saturday, February 04, 2012
Lately it seems I cry on more days than not. Late last year I found out my father has a terminal form of cancer. He'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago, but that seemed to have been dealt with. Unfortunately it has spread through his skeletal system, and it's now a matter of we-don't-know-how-long, but probably months that he has left to live.
I can't tell you how gutting news like this is. Is anone ever ready to lose a parent? Probably not, but it still seems that a man aged 61 is too young to die. Nevertheless, everyday life goes on, and you learn to put knowledge like this aside, somewhere that you can take it out and grieve over it in private, without interference to your work, your recreation, your relationships.
But it does leak out of you, and that's why there's more days where I cry than days when I don't. It doesn't take much to set me off. A motorcyclist on the road; an email or phone call from my dad; a photo. It's a knowledge that sits heavily inside me and permeates all my quiet moments.
There are lots of reasons to wish not to be an only child, and most of them become apparent as you reach adulthood. I've found another one - the grief of a dying parent should be shared between siblings. There is no-one to share this commonality of experience with me. I know others who have lost a parent, but in this particular circumstance I am alone. I am the only child who is losing this man as my father. And it feels awful.