27 January 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of the death my father.
I found myself counting down the days, as the 27th approached. 20 years felt significant. I was going to write a blog on the day sharing some reflections on my relationship with him. But when the day finally came, I found that whilst I do experience writing as deeply cathartic and healing, on this occasion it was potentially going to be a way for me to escape from the emotions that were coming up. And so, writing about it faded into the background.
I was having lunch with a dear friend last week, our conversation soon led to us talking about our parents. I mentioned the 20th anniversary. I told my friend that what really struck me was how much I have changed over the past 20 years, and that the 26-year-old that I was when my father died is a distant memory. If I had changed so much over the years, then my father would have certainly done the same, had he still been alive.
It is impossible for me to accurately imagine what my father would be like had he still been here, or what the nature of our relationship would be like. It often feels like he is frozen in time, whenever I think about him. And it feels unfair to both of us to apply the eyes of yesterday to our relationship of today; albeit a non-physical relationship!
As the past 20 years have unfolded, I have come to see my father through the lenses of three chapters – childhood, adolescence and adulthood. More