With the very recent passing of my father, came a most unexpected gift. His death was the first very deep and incomprehensible loss I had ever experienced, yet it also gave me something that I could not have ever imagined receiving.
As a young child, I was very close to my father and this remained a strong relationship until I began challenging some of his beliefs and ideas about life and realizing my views of the world were changing and becoming very different.
This did not stop us from sharing and challenging one another, in a positive way, throughout the years, but it did shift our relationship and on many levels, carried a weight that had not existed in my early childhood.
Divorce was part of the journey removing my parents off the pedestal, and replacing their status to “human”.
My father, a fit and healthy person, became ill about 8 years ago, and it was at this time that his quality of life shifted dramatically. Despite his illness, he travelled and continued to live his life as best as he was able.
I saw his illness as an opportunity to explore ‘the other’, whatever that would be. This was from the perspective of exploring alternatives to dealing with not only the physical condition itself, mental, emotional and spiritual. He however, chose to continue life as he had always done.
Our main difference was that he saw his illness very much from the Western symptomatic perspective. He would not consider any other factors other than the direct illness itself. Whereas I had in my mind, a more holistic view and believed that the underlying cause was connected to all aspects of his required healing.
For many years I struggled to let go and to just respect and allow him to his own choices. I appreciate that we are all on our own journey, but when you love someone, and see alternative ways through suffering, I found it impossible not to try to continuously present them to him.
It was only in the last year of his life, that I felt a greater shift within myself. My personal work had greatly supported my ability to just let go and to let him be. I found myself less frustrated and more compassionate to his choices.
This gift that I received, was deeply entwined in our history, which I have only just very briefly touched on, as well as my relationship with time.
After processing the loss of his physical being, something else started to present itself to me.
With respect to each person’s personal belief system, mine is one of believing that we are eternal. We have a finite period held within our bodies, but our essence, our Soul, is eternal.
For the first time since his passing, I was able to see all of who my father was. It was like stepping beyond the experience of the person and being able to feel, and see his whole being for all the years of his life that I knew him.
Death it seems, gives perspective that life continuously distorts.
We live in our relationships through time and judge and respond according to what is in front of us in the present, which seems so natural and appropriate (at the time). Yet, in this way, we lock into an aspect of a person rather than being able to see them and respond to them holistically.
We are all more than a moment in time. I learnt that we are more than our story. We might become our story, and it may define us and how we live our lives, but this is not only the choice for each and every one of us around our own lives, it is also a choice of how we choose to perceive each other.
This gift of seeing my father in all of who he was (beyond his struggles and pain) showed me something that I had never quite seen so clearly before.
Love, true love, is unconditional, all encompassing, non-judgmental and free. When we are compassionate and open to feeling and acknowledging the fullness of each other, can we then step into raising not only our own frequency in the presence of others, but we also facilitate raising the frequency of everything and everyone around us. Taking this responsibility and choosing love, begins to inform from a higher denominator than what might initially appear to be presented.
The irony is that the very frustration that I had for years with my father, was a reflection of what was inside of me. The gift of him, to me, was the constant opportunity to just be with love. In light of all the complexities of all our relationships, it is almost bizarre that something so simple could be the root of changing so much.