Lesson No. 2

by Sine Qua Non

I saw this video from Upwrothy about fathers braiding daughters’ hairs.


And I didn’t think I would cry but I did. I could feel all my emotions well up inside me while at the same time my chest heaving tight to suppress all the feelings back in. I swear the pain exists physically and it’s a knot that moves steadily right on top of my diaphragm. The pain is real.

And while I feel all that I need to say is ready to burst out of me, I still cannot say it and it is not because I think that I cannot find the right, the most perfect words to use – well maybe yes there is the fear of that possibility – but more than that, more than a fear of never doing justice to my father’d death with just one piece, what is keeping me from just letting all the words pour out is the apparent reality that if I do so, I am truly letting go of my dad.

And that is what pains me. and that is what is keeping me from writing and that is what is making me cry whenever a trigger is available. Not because I have lost him already but because I have not actually let go.

and writing down his memory in poetry or prose will make it all very real. even more real than i could grasp. it is not because i do not have the words. it is because i do not want to give the words to the feeling. i do not want the feeling to win. and it scares me. and it pains me. so much.

because it is not as simple as writing it for someone someone else lost. it is not as easy as a factsheet turned metaphoric-esoteric. It is not simple at all.

And I continue to weep by myself because I’ve never truly wept about it. I never knew how to weep about it. What to cry about. I don’t even know who to ask for help. If I should ask for help. I have never truly mourned.

So this is what loss feels like. That  times will come when you realize you never really let go of the things that you’ve already lost. And you’ll keep trying to hold on to something you could keep safe within that the universe couldn’t take away from you.

As for me, with my father, it is these words. Something about never having my hair braided but always having that father who not only wished for a better world for me but believed that I could create that better world to. But it will never be whole – the poem will not be written. Not right now. I hope that it is not forever. At some point this loss should be something I could cease keeping as something that I own. That I should cease seeing it as loss at some point. And just let go.

Just let go.