I know, I haven’t been a good father lately. I couldn’t. I fell back into the Void, but this time I didn’t climb back. It’s not that I didn’t have the power to – though I admit, this was also a problem. I wasn’t willing to. There was no point. Why would I? To enjoy life? There is no such thing, not since 2018. To survive, “one day at a time” as Ingrid would tell us? We’ve been doing that since 2014, long before the world got a taste of our daily routines because of some nasty virus. I am tired, I cannot take that anymore. To fight? That’s what always kept me going; you know that better than anyone since you’ve inherited it. Mamma was also stubborn of course, and yet you were more stubborn than both of us combined! But I am tired of that too. There is no winning against the forces of nature – cancer or the ugliness inside people which is no different than the predatory tumours that ate away your body. See, here’s the thing; I am not even desperate. Despair is a feeling, however grim. I don’t feel anything. Apathy, anomie, maybe both.
And that’s precisely where I failed you. I keep thinking of an exchange I had with mamma before your funeral. Some people from my workplace wanted to come to your funeral and I was reluctant to let them. She wrote, “wanting to come is a sign of loving and caring and I would like the day to be in the spirit of love, hope, openness and forgiveness, as I believe is his legacy”. I was ashamed of myself, realizing how difficult it was for me to match her magnanimity. She was right. You were love incarnated. Always happy, always smiling, making fun of even the worst of life. So I decided to give it a try, to be as generous with life as mamma always was, to stifle anger with patience, to welcome hate with wisdom, and never lose hope.
But there is too much darkness in this world my sweet, honey-eyed baby, and even me, your indomitable father, cannot cope with it. It took me 50 years to grasp it, but now I know. I cannot beat pure evil with pure love. So I failed you, your legacy, and I am deeply, very sorry for that.
Don’t worry though. I am not going anywhere. I still love you, more than anything, more than life itself. I still sleep on one side of the bed every night, imagining that you are lying on the other side, next to me – and the wall so that you don’t fall. I haven’t been able to look at your pictures for months now, but I will, tonight. I will catch up with mamma’s blog. I will spend my birthday with you, at the beach, like we did the last time you were here. It will be a bit chilly, but I know you don’t care. You swam in the freezing ocean in Santa Monica beach, next to the Pier, in the middle of November, remember? None of us knew this was the last birthday we would celebrate together when you were shivering wrapped in a blanket, with purple lips.
I am not sure whether I will be able to make up for my failures, but there are still a few things I would like to do. I will come and visit you as soon as I can. I will go back to writing your story for the few who care. We will do the movie. That’s all I can say for now. You know I like to keep my promises, so I won’t make any.
Mamma was hesitating between two poems for your funeral, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye and Arioso by Erik Lindegren. In the end, she settled on Frye, so I am sending you the other as a gift – of apology.
Somewhere within us we are always together … somewhere within us, our love can never escape … somewhere, o somewhere all the trains have gone and all watches stopped … somewhere within us we are always here and now … are we always you next to confusion and premix … are we suddenly wondering and transformation … breaking sea wave, rose fire and snow
Någonstans inom oss är vi alltid tillsammans … någonstans inom oss kan vår kärlek aldrig fly … någonstans, o någonstans har alla tågen gått och alla klockor stannat … någonstans inom oss är vi alltid här och nu … är vi alltid du intill förväxling och förblandning … är vi plötsligt undrans under och förvandling … brytande havsvåg, roseneld och snö
Whatever the case, tomorrow please come and hug me…