My father died from cancer when I was twelve. He was first diagnosed with cancer when I was about six I think, maybe, seven. I'm just not sure. I have very few memories of my dad except for one when I was two which my mother insists is not a memory at all but only something I was told and a couple of other odd ones thrown in there.
Overall, I really don't remember much about the man except what others have told me. I had a strong love for him as a child. I remember that feeling but no memories to tie that love to which seems really odd to me.
I think to have those feelings there should be memories of some sort of connection, a bond between us established by a real relationship. Yet there are no memories there. Even the few I have don't have any interaction between him and me. I have pretty much forgotten him, I guess, except for what I felt.
This blankness around him is not something new. It has been there for most of my life. At the time I did therapy I didn't remember anymore than I do now. Throughout my adult life I had no recall any different than now.
After my dad died I remember being devestated but I don't remember ever thinking about being with him or what specifically I might be missing. All I remember is about his illness and how he spent most of it in a hospital.
Even when he came home for a brief time not too long before he died, I have no visual memory of him in the house. I have the memory of the closed door to his room or the closed door of the bathroom because he was in there but no memory of ever crossing paths with him while he was in the house. I remember the priest coming to bring him communion and the door closing on him as he went into my father's room but I did not see my father.
My mother didn't want us to see him. She thought it would be too traumatic for us to see him so ill. I think this caused more problems than it helped..........at least for me. I have a huge hole in my heart where a father should be.
I suppose it's odd considering all the abuse in my background that this thing about my dad is so disturbing to me. I guess it's because there were those memories of home that seemed "normal" where I didn't know or remember the abuse and my father "should" be part of those. Yet I have this hole.
Others have fond memories of my dad. There were people who thought my dad was a saint. I don't remember him ever hurting me, nor do I have any fear of him. I sure had fear of my mother. deeply buried, of course, but just as deeply rooted. My feelings for my father are more like those for my grandfather but I have memories of grandpa.
I guess it's just another one of those complicated things about me. I wish it was different. I wish I could remember the man but all I remember is the hole left by his abcense.