It shouldn’t come as a surprise – we all die… eventually. But it’s hard to watch. My Dad always said he’d be tough – but his body has betrayed him.
If my Dad had a fatal disease, and was lying in the ICU, or a nursing home, I would visit him faithfully, tell him he is loved, and would just show up. Even if he wasn’t conscious, we would stop to hug him, love him, show our respect.
“I’ve been struggling with this for several months”
The problem is my Dad doesn’t have a fatal disease, but he does have a character disease. His pride has pushed us away. His white lies and betrayals have burned up the trust bank account. His denial won’t allow him to reach out, or seek help. This is all very confusing.
When he does come over the kids are anxious to share things with him, but he is mostly oblivious to their attempts to get his attention and affirmation. I feel the same way – and always have. He won’t stay long enough to settle in and have a meaningful visit – he never has. We can’t rely on him to tell the truth – and that has always been a bone of contention. He won’t open up, won’t listen, and won’t connect.
I’ve been struggling with this for several months – since a particularly heartbreaking betrayal. I’ve forgiven him, I just don’t trust him.
However, lately, I’m been looking at my Dad’s issues like a fatal disease. He’ll be gone soon. In many ways, this is just like cancer – it just happens to be a cancer of his character.