My Father and I were like two peas in a pod. He called me Baby. His Baby. I knew no one else like him; there were times growing up when I was terrified of him; but as I grew I came to know his love, and knew I could never do anything that would make him stop loving me. Although everyone I knew (aside from a very small handful) found him objectionable, even his own family; he was my best friend. I never understood why people disliked him so much. Most of them have gone on their way; they have moved on and expect me to do the same. Death is just a natural part of life, they say. Deal with it. Let it go (with the implied but silent "already" behind it). Move on, they say. Move on.
And I am dealing with it, this grief and life after. I am. But does "dealing with it" mean going on in life as though my Father never existed at all? Must gone mean forgotten? Well, they say; If it is affecting your life negatively, then you might be depressed. But I say, Can it be otherwise? Of course him being gone affects me negatively. I am not a machine or a monster who has not a heart to grieve. Is making mention of my Father in daily life a sin against "dealing with it" ? Sounds ridiculous, I know. But those to whom I am referring speak of him, when they speak of him at all, with acid tongues; words of ridicule for the dead man they did not like, rather than pity for the one who did; and Baby's love for--and mention of--that dead man seems but to annoy and agitate them, which only adds to her grief. Thus, I turn to writing, not talking, as a refuge from those who find Baby's crying annoying; that I might speak of my Father without reproach and honor him as the man I knew him to be. Thank you for listening. TLN.