A Tear Shed

June 5, 2013
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Murmuring was heard upstairs, a flight above me. I thought nothing of it, I knew he was sick, but I thought nothing of that either. Slow footsteps thumped downwards. My stepdad Gordon went to his room, knowing he had no part in this. My mom sauntered towards me and beckoned for me to sit down, which she did also. My mom said, “Rob, your dad has passed on.” She started crying hard, tears coming down like a faucet. I hugged her, comforted her. I saw in her face, there was pain all over. Her mind was buzzing with sorrow. She thought I had felt the same. But, my mind felt normal. No tears fell from my face.
This led me to a question I would ask myself for years to come. Why did none fall? This certainly was not the saddest moment I experienced. It wasn’t like I never understood what death meant, either (at least, not the effects). I knew my dad would be gone. That was the only thought that came to my mind. And for some reason my innocent 7-year-old self would think nothing of it.
The next morning I would cry. I was actually spurred on by my mother. I had woken up that morning, preparing to go to school, like a normal day. When I came down dressed and ready for the day, my mother was shocked. She looked at me puzzled and said, “Rob we are going to take off for a little while because of this.” I thought nothing of it. I put my bag down and went upstairs. My mother began to worry and we had to talk about the stories of my dad, basically until I cried. She told of him biking on my tiny bike to go to the supermarket to get me tuna when his wife had taken the car. She told of him running down the big slide on my birthday party and making me smile. I did sob that day, but the next day was one I wouldn’t forget.
We had a funeral for my father and everyone was weeping. It was in a dull hall that was a huge space, although very little was in it. Just some rows, a coffin, and the priest. We shared stories of him in a rustic and old church. His friends and family members came up to talk of him. Everyone sobbed in sorrow. Except me. People who barely knew the man sobbed their eyes out as if he was their best friend. But, he was my father and I wasn’t crying. Why didn’t I cry?
It would be years later, to 2012, when I would question the matter. My dad was not around much. My parents divorced when I was 2 and I seldom saw him, although I did visit a couple times a year. But, my mom married a man named Gordon and he became the dad of our household. He has truly become my father and I love him as such. I always accepted him on as one and he is with no doubt my male role model. But, I still should’ve wept. Why did it take me 5 years to question my lack of emotion to the man that bred me? My mind grew between the time and I truly understood what happened. Something I couldn’t have understood 5 years ago. I would ponder my lack of emotion for hours before realizing that as much as I thought I understood death, I didn’t. And although I hate to admit it, my lack of relationship had caused me to not feel much love for my father at the time. That pained me.
A young, innocent brain took on a loss like nothing and it kills me to think of that now. I knew he was sick. I knew what was happening. But, I did nothing. I didn’t cry for him and that was the worst thing I could’ve done. WHY DIDN’T I FEEL SORROW UNTIL THEN? These words shouted in my mind, begging me to cry, but it was too late. I was done. That was the saddest moment for me. It took me 5 years to realize what his death meant for me and it came down. I whispered to myself, “I don’t have a father,” and curled up.
However, I know now that it is not important. I forgive my younger self and brushed away my childish questioning over a tear. A tear does not mean love. My father was not perfect, far from it. But, he is an honorable man and I have respect for him. No matter how long he is gone, I felt that he has been there for me. And although I did not cry, it doesn’t take tears to show respect. He steps out the door with me every day and whispers goodnight from heaven when I sleep. No matter how far gone, he is my father and I love him. The Corinthians say in the Bible, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” It certainly does. Even through death.

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