Forgiveness II

I am assuming that you read the first chapter of Forgiveness.

Let me describe my feelings when I learned that, after I had toiled for weeks over my decision to go see my father, and forgive him, he had died.

I was angry. He actually died and screwed me out of the the unburdening of my feelings toward him? The final dagger, the last arrow, the coup de gras. See how selfish forgiveness is? And now I am picking on a dead guy, to make myself feel better.

It was decided that I would attend his funeral the following weekend. I hoped that I could still forgive him, and close the book on his part of my life. My oldest daughter and I made plans to meet in Iowa, at a hotel casino, after work ( we were both traveling that week anyway), and go to the funeral together in Des Moines. This we did.

Upon our arrival at the church, we spent some awkward time greeting the family he replaced us with, and my uncle, who is my father’s brother. I wandered around the room, looking for a casket or an urn. Not one to be found. But wait, here is a picture of an urn, and some information. He was buried earlier in the week in a private family ceremony. Oh forgiveness, thou are so elusive.

Next we adjourned into the sanctuary. My daughter and I were seated behind the real family. We were then treated to several  accounts of what a wonderful, kind, loving man this guy was. He was always the first to lend a hand around the retirement home if you needed help, or someone to talk to. Take you to the grocery. He had once studied to be a Methodist Minister. Lots of great deeds.

As I listened, I wrote my own eulogy for him, all the while fighting the urge to raise my hand to be next to speak.

“Hello, I am Brad, his oldest son. I’ll bet you didn’t know about me did you? Did my dad ever tell you about the time he took me camping. No? Well he didn’t take me camping.  But I sat on the front porch for 50 years and waited, just in case.”