Mel, the gorgeously dressed owner of Anouck at Mason in Williamstown had become my teacher!!
After a heartbreaking visit to my father in aged care I ventured into Anouck for a little retail therapy, sensing my despair we struck up a heartfelt conversation and she offered some simple yet powerful words of wisdom that were to support me over the months to come.
“ask your father about his life, take time to talk to him and to listen to his answers and always tell him that you love him”.
So I began the healing journey of getting to know the man who was also my father. His stories peppered with his dry sense of humour that stayed with him till the end.
I can never re-call saying the words ” i sound just like my father” for I am encoded with my mothers DNA but I inherited from him the need to sometimes be silent, his dry sense of humour, his love of movies and harmonica, solid build and the need to a success in business.
My mother also shared stories of their previous relationships, their dating days, marriage and finally parenthood. The 3 of us sitting together holding hands as the bonds between a mother and her adult child deepened as the bond between a husband and wife of 58 years was slowly fading.
It was a powerful experience to reclaim the forgotten history of my parents bloodlines. I found belief systems, patterns and health issues that had been carried down through the generations.
By gathering information from the family tree it is a non threatening first step in the healing journey.
I found forgiveness in the most unexpected places. I understood for the first time my fathers desire for wealth and I forgave him for all the times he seemed to put that before me. I sought his forgiveness for the stress I had caused him in my wild child days. I re-discovered my long lost uncles and now am in weekly contact to record their stories before they are forgotten.
I have a deep sense of pride of my paternal history and the forgiveness both given and received bought about deep healing at a core level.
Dad passed away surrounded by the nurses who had cared for him, he died how he lived quiet and without a fuss.
Only two questions will be displayed because those answers are the ones that meant the most to me….
What was your best life achievement? my daughter
What were you most proud of? my marriage, my daughter, grandchildren & great grandson
After his passing I practised 4 months of extreme self care and am feeling brighter within myself. I have had a birthday and soon a Christmas without my father and today I voted and saw his name was no longer on the register and I felt the tears surface.
The healing of grief cannot be rushed it must be allowed to surface when its ready
Can I inspire you from this moment on to:
- Begin to discover your family his story and her story.
- Take time to talk to your parents and discover them for who they are – not who you perceive them to be
- Acknowledge all the good things you inherited from them
- Tell them you love them, but also show them that you do.
To all my teachers – I give thanks
Bruce Combe Calman
4th March 1925 – 15th July 2010