The Cook Awakening

For My Father on Dia De Los Muertos

November 1, 2015
Posted in: Grief, Life on Life's Terms

Your Wasteland took me by surprise last winter. I had thought the dim memory of where you lived so much of the time was worked out, worked through.

Ernie with his alligator

Ernie with his alligator

I remember months of Late Night with David and pints of Ben and Jerry’s, when all I could really feel was a distant gratitude for the ants that cleaned my kitchen. The therapist’s room where I identified the Wasteland, and that it was yours, a lineage memory of pain so deep it annihilated all emotion, and left a cold, dry, lifeless terrain where nothing grew. No possibility of life, of green, of juice. I had tripped into the Bel-Boyd legacy, and it took years to find my way out of that vast, stark land.

I give thanks for finding that path East, ever East. Sitting still on the earth, finding some compassion and distance so that the path out could unwind within, and the wildfires that raged along the way could consume and renew. The years of the Phoenix, and of Persephone – going down, burning, and returning; going down, burning, and returning; going down, burning….

Until it wasn’t necessary anymore. Life returned. I found passion, and birthed children.

I had thought I was done with that.

When you actually left the body I was sad, but not inordinately so. I thought perhaps I had done my grieving in the years I took to heal. Our story is a complex one, too full of a different pain to touch on here. I had cut the cord, allowed you to die before you died, so when you caught up to that I just thought I had completed the process in my time instead of yours. I rested in the synchronicities – you died when my son was 6 months old, as your father had died when I was half a year. We had been able to speak honestly before you left – I had given up on attaining any such closure. I knew I was more certainly your daughter than ever I had been my mother’s, and that I was traveling a path that you began when you left your house of pain. Sometimes the gift of suffering is that we can find God.

So, when I found myself again in your Wasteland, I was utterly unprepared. But, I remembered. Crushed, I wandered, trying to surrender so it would go away. I knew that it wasn’t truly surrender if the goal was to get out, but that place is so exquisitely painful there is no possibility of acceptance. I prayed, I wept, tried to dance it out – but only ended up with rug burn on my forehead as I prostrated myself fully, hoping for an end. Any end. Just make it stop.

I saw the lineage marker – a wooden tree trunk terminating in my neck, with a snake like branch wrapped around my throat, preventing me from advocating for myself when I most needed it.

I. Cut. It. Out. Felt the relief as it pulled free, felt my breath flow more openly, filling my body. Life.

Finally, I felt the tender grief come. That was the first unencumbered missing of you I ever had. You were dead and gone 13 and a half years. I had closed off our contact 10 years before that. 23 years is a long time to wait to finally weep without restraint.

Now, 8 days after your 79th birthday, on Dia De Los Muertos, I am in the liminal. I feel you. You were not a tidy soul, with a tidy life. A brilliant dark star in a chaotic world, a thought leader. I honor you, Dad. I needed to cut the lineage of pain from this body, it was too much to carry. But, I am truly your daughter. My intention is to carry that dark light forward, through whatever depths present, lighting the way for any who care to follow. Being your daughter was not always easy. I know how deeply you love me. Thank you for the gift of my life, and for traveling the path that I now continue.

I love you.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 at 10:43 am and is filed under Grief, Life on Life's Terms. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “For My Father on Dia De Los Muertos”

  1. Marylyn Scott Says:

    Deeply beautiful, Durga. You journeyed to the depths of your heart, explored the shadowed places of thyself; discovered, and shared,
    the radiance of being. <3 Motherbear

  2. Tom Says:

    What words are there?
    I honor your courage, and your willingness to follow your path, and follow it and follow it-where ever it leads. You have made yourself a beacon for many souls. Blessed Be.

  3. Durga Fuller Says:

    Thank you both. So much love. <3

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