My Father

Mike Hammer

I was moved by so many cyber voices, describing grief. I lost my father to cancer four months ago. It was so unexpected. The doctors said he had four months to live...but he only lived a week after his release from the hospital. I can still see him, as he cried in the hospital bed and said "There is so much between us." He was trying to put into words all that had never been said. After his death, my mother told me that I had a brother (that my parents had put up for adoption years before I was born). My mother had pleaded with my father not to tell me of this brother. I know he wanted to tell me. I am angry with my mother for denying him his deathbed confession.

A few weeks after my father died, I had a vivid dream of him. He was sitting at a table, tossing salt into the sores on his body. Suddenly, I was holding his body, lowering him into a tub of water. I will never forget his expression. He was so alive to me in this dream. I looked at him and said, "Dad...we haven't talked." I could see by his face that he knew what I wanted to say. I said, "What mom told me...I want you to know its O.K." I woke up weeping. I connected to my father, but I regret that we didn't connect while he was alive. I guess I never knew how much I loved him, how much emotion I have inside me still.

I seem to store this grief inside, and my body aches with it. I have tried to free my tears, and I have cried until my face hurts. I don't know where this will lead. It is a long road, and there is no map. I am thankful for these shared experiences.

Mike Hammer

You can send email to Mike at: [email protected]
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anniversary date 08-29-97
date of post 12-30-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW