Love and Death

December 21, 2012

Since my father's death, I can't trust people or connect to them in the same way.  Before he died, I had notions about the world. I thought people were good, that we take care of one another. I thought the world was something that it is not. I lost my innocence and my illusions, I lost an essential part of myself.  It irreparably scarred me--not just losing him but losing my faith in humanity. The artifice of life was peeled away. I saw the truth of other people, I saw the worst in them, I saw that this country does not care about the poor, I saw that my father's life, my life, my mother's life mean nothing. I saw that no one saves you. You lose and lose and keep on losing. I saw that the people you trust the most can always hurt you. So much leaked out of me. There is an indifference, a selfishness, an insensitivity in me that is so ugly I cannot bear to confront it or even admit it. This is what life has done to me.

I say "I love you" but do I mean it? How am I showing it? Is it real? At times, I feel like Juliette Binoche in Trois Couleurs: Bleu, avoiding attachments and human intimacy because they are traps. Love becomes a burden. What you love can die, vanish, leave. You are not what you love. What you love is separate from you, and this makes loving so terrifying. I fear that I say love but do not feel it, do not surrender to it or fully show it. I fear I am wrapped up in myself too much, because I am all I've ever had; I am the one person I have always been able to rely on.

Did I love my father? I ask myself this all the time. I was sixteen when he died. Did I show my love, did he feel it? Will my love for him always be a little girl's love, the love of a girl who cannot love? Last week, I asked my mother if I made my father happy. She said that I did. I'm not sure why I asked. I know he loved being my father. He told me he loved me every single day. But what about me did he love? Did he even know me? Did I know him? Do I remember a myth, an illusion, rather than a real man? I was not just robbed of my father but of his love and how that love could have changed me, moved me, shown me how to love.