When A Parent Dies

Posted: 6 February, 2016 in Uncategorized
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My father and I have been estranged for the better part of 7 years, ever since I was outed to him as transgender. Over that time, I have made several attempts at reconciliation, only to be rebuffed every time.

Today my daughter called me with the news that my father—who had a stroke almost a year ago—is dying. She said that she had spoken to my stepmother who informed her that he was going to be 88 on his birthday—“if he makes it that far.” And since his birthday is next month, well, you can see the implication.

This evening I called to see if my father would speak to me. My brothers were there with him, and he accepted my call. I told him that I loved him, and much to my joy, he said the same thing. We had a mostly-good talk (I say “mostly-good” because I was on my cell-phone and he was on speaker phone, and his speech has been adversely affected by his stroke), and we ended on a positive note. I asked if I could call again next week, and he assented.

I finished by speaking with my brother, who said he’d call me tomorrow and we’d talk about what’s going on, and what I can expect.

I’m trying to keep it together long enough to write this, but it’s hard. Hard to sort out the jumbled thoughts and mixed emotions, hard to see the screen through my tears. Hard to realize that the man I’ve looked up to and idolized for such a large part of my life will soon be gone.

But I’m trying to stay positive by concentrating on the fact that we are in fact effecting a reconciliation. My daughter and her mother (my ex-wife) will be flying out to see him soon, and I wish I could afford the air or train or bus fare to see him one last time.

It’s been hard these past few years, but he’s my father, and I love him.


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