As some of you know, my father passed away three months ago. As only a few of you know, my father and I had, to say the least, a tumultuous relationship. In fact, it was the fallout from this relationship that initiated my journey of self-discovery many years ago. Upon his passing, however, this journey has taken an unexpected and profound turn that I’m ready to share with you today.
Truth is: In the waning months of my father’s life, I became increasingly worried that we wouldn’t clear up the misgivings between us. Even worse, I was terrified that I would live with resentment toward him the rest of my life. And during my visits to Florida to see him or take him to treatment over the past year, these fears were confirmed—he expressed no willingness for compassionate closure and no desire to make amends. It seemed that he just couldn’t face it. And although I kept it to myself, my concern and resentment were building and building right up until the day he died.
But here’s the unexpected and profound turn I referenced earlier: Now that his body is gone, I’m experiencing no resentment at all. Any sense of blame has vanished. On the contrary, without trying to forgive or let go, my love for my father has never been more present and powerful. It’s virtually impossible to conjure up a memory with pain.
So, what’s this all about? Simple actually: Absent of the personal, love automatically abounds. It is the body-mind that veils who we truly are, love (Consciousness or God’s infinite Being) itself. In other words, love’s not found in a person. My father’s body has gone, and now, the love underneath—a love that’s always billowing beneath the surface—is all that remains.
To be clear, I don’t mean to imply that to know love, the death of the human body is required. Even through heartache, my father and I shared many loving moments where we lost ourselves in sport, in long drives to my games or tournaments, or in talks about our mutual interest in coaching (incidentally, he was one heck of a hockey coach).
What is required to know love, however, is the felt experience that we are not the body-mind. Again, love is the mutual recognition of the Being we share. When a sense of self, or the body-mind, dissolves or passes on, this shared Being is revealed.
Sadly, my father didn’t quite see this. As body-minds are wont to do, he searched for a good feeling—for love—in activities, in environments, and in others. Particularly in me, his oldest child. It was this very seeking that obscured his love. And to be fair, it was resistance to his seeking that obscured mine.
But no more.
My father and I were love. My father and I are love. And now, effortlessly, this love is building and building with each passing day.
Thank you for reading these words. It means a lot to me.