June 4, 2016
The most terrible loss is the loss of a mother, father, sibling or child. In my case, I lost my father yesterday on June 3, 2016. The depth of pain is impossible to describe, so I won’t even try. I also know that my mother lost a husband of 58 years, and for her, no matter how much pain I am feeling at my loss, I know her pain to be a 100 times greater than mine.
In our family and culture, when one suffers the loss of a parent, to demonstrate proper respect and to follow mourning etiquette, by choice we:
- abstain from all meat for 2 weeks
- abstain from all television for 6 weeks or more
- abstain from all music, and yes, that includes the accordion, even practicing for 6 weeks… or more
I’ll not be playing for a while. You know, these are all self-imposed restrictions that we offer out of respect… but the truth is that they don’t matter all that much, because I damn well know in my heart that one of the main reasons music came back to my life was that so I could return music back to my father for his listening pleasure. He always loved listening to me and encouraged me to the Nth degree. Sadly, I am never going to have that honor again, and it is sincerely one of my life’s greatest regrets to this point. I feel as if I have failed him and it causes me additional anguish on top of the pain I am already experiencing by the loss of my father.
I regret not having started to play again earlier, if only for him.
Regrets are a terrible, terrible thing, and very painful.
However, once I complete the mourning process, I will slowly return to practicing and playing, and I will have my music back again.
This is a hard but valuable lesson for me… stop wasting time! No, not just in music, but with everything in life. Stop wasting time, life waits for no one and when one’s time is up, it is up and when the Good Lord calls us, there is no refusing his call.
I stopped for multiple decades before, so I can stop for a couple of months again and its not as terrible and as long a stop as the first one. In the overall scheme of life it is not the end of all music for me, but life can be damned inconvenient when it comes to certain things (that’s me being a little facetious and ironic about it).
My life is currently filled with many quiet and hidden tears and near unbearable sadness at the loss of my father… may the Good Lord grant him passage to heaven and grant me the strength to get through this quickly and return not just to music, but to living the life that I desire.
Addendum June 5th, 2016:
I’ve been very busy helping make the preparations for my father, I did not have the chance to go downstairs to where I keep my accordions, yet today I had to go down there to reset the router. I saw my Hohner Morino and absent-mindedly touched it. My body’s response was near instant. I have never lost control of my emotions so fast… the mind exploded in to grief, wracked sobs escaped my throat and I had to fall to my knees for a couple of minutes and cry it out.
The man that gave me this instrument, my father, is forever gone, and I will never see the pleasure in his eyes in response to my playing ever again.
The harder I tried to stop the flow of my tears, the worse it became. Eventually it passed, but it left me weak, exhausted and mentally drained.
Damn, such pain cannot last forever, at least I hope not.
I cannot ever let anything like this happen to me in front of others, especially in front of my mother… I must be strong for her and our family.
If I must cry, I will cry alone. If she must cry, I pray it is on my shoulder, so that I may offer her whatever strength and solace that I can.
The following days are going to be the hardest days of my life. The preparations for the funeral, the multiple showings (both here in Quebec and in Ontario), the drive there following the hearse, the burial and the long lonely drive back… I am not looking forward to it, but I will throw myself into it to do my best to see all is done as well as it can be made. My sister and I are doing anything and everything to take the strain off our mother.
Addendum June 12th, 2016:
Yesterday we buried my father. Life is hard and this moment, in my eyes so totally unfair. People who don’t want to live… do. People who killed/murdered other people live long and healthy lives in prison. My father is gone.
Many good people leave well before their time but are still needed here. Why is that??
I need my father, and so badly want to hear his voice again. I am in anguish and the worst part is that no one in my family will know because I won’t tell them. They have their own pain to deal with and don’t need me to dump any more on them. I won’t ever see him again, be able to touch him again and never hear his voice, at least not in this life… we’ll see about the next one.
Addendum June 16, 2016:
It’s Father’s Day today. I feel the loss very keenly today and am inside, quite emotional, though outside no one can tell (thank God). I thought about my dad a lot today, but then again, no less than yesterday or the day before or the day before that. I still miss him so much.
That is something that I doubt will pass anytime soon, but it’s just an extra knife’s edge into the wound on this special day reserved for celebrating with our fathers.
If yours is still with you, go give him a hug, tell him how much you love and appreciate him and spend a few special moments with him.
I estimate about another 4 weeks before the mourning period is over and the door to being able to get back to the music opens. It’s good that I don’t play during this time. Though I miss it a lot and think about it often, I think I’d be a mental vegetable or an emotional mess trying to play anyway. This wait gives me time to heal… at least a little bit.
But, I am curious as to how I will feel about it. Will it have lost all flavor for me and will I want to put it away again for another 25 years? Or will I want to pick up where I stopped or perhaps something in between? Once I put the accordion on again after the break, I will see what my heart tells me… in about a month.
Addendum July 16, 2016:
It’s been a mere 6 weeks since my father passed away and the mourning period is over, but not really. I know that I will mourn the loss of my father for as long as I live, but now I can slowly try to start the process of moving on. I have a couple of accordion projects to do, and I hope to start on them. As of now, the desire to continue playing is still there a little, I find it a nice form of therapy, a place to escape while I am involved in it.
Like a small river with a slow eddy, life meanders and moves on… but the part in me that my father filled by his presence shall never be filled again. In a very real way, a significant part of me has died inside… all I can do is try to honor him by following his teachings.