Not sure what to feel tonight

My biological father passed away this morning; he suffered congestive heart failure and kidney failure in rapid succession (he was 72). We were not close: my folks split up when I was five, and I did not see him again until I re-established contact about 15 years ago… so the limited relationship that we built in the last few years, mostly via email, was really more that of two men who happened to have this odd connection, than as a father and son.

He was a complicated man, and hard to get to know; and I recognize some of the traits that made him that way in myself, particularly the endless spiritual questing that it seems must be genetic, since the environment I was raised in, while warm and loving, was not one to nurture those kinds of questions.

All that said, though, he was still my father, and without him neither I nor my daughter would be here… the only thing I know to do right now is install him in the Ancestor shrine, which we will do tomorrow.

Arthur Mack Hale, I pray that whatever destiny awaits you as you join the other Ancestors of our blood, it is what you wanted for yourself.

Rest in peace.

Arthur Mack Hale (1937-2010)

14 thoughts on “Not sure what to feel tonight

  1. Hrafnkell

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar experience with emotions when my own father, whom I was not close to and hadn’t been for some years, went to his ancestors a few years ago.

  2. Wyzwmn

    no matter what the state of your relationship was…human beings need to’s part of the natural process

    I wish you peace.

  3. Apuleius Platonicus

    I’m sorry to hear of your father’s death. I’m glad you had those last 15 years to get to know each other as men, and it is certainly interesting that he shared your spiritual adventurousness. May he go forth shining and accomplish his Will.

  4. Cat C-B

    Ah, Erik…

    I am sorry for your loss. The ones that are hard to name, the missed connections–those can be difficult if only because we have nowhere to put our feelings, and sometimes not enough memories to have a sense even what the relationship meant to us.

    Thank you for sharing this news with us, your e-community. While I don’t know at all what to say, I do know I’m grateful to share this knowledge with you; sharing ancestors is one thing that makes us a People, not just a theological perspective.

    I’m glad to be tribe with you.

    Blessed be.

  5. executivepagan Post author

    Thank you, my friends.

    Cat, it comes to me that naming Ancestors is one of the few ritual acts that can actually be performed meaningfully online…

  6. Feral Boy

    It’s in some ways difficult when you lose a family member that you did not get along
    for some reason. You would think that you should feel more sadness, but other feelings
    tend to get in the way. I lost my father about 10 years ago, was pretty much estranged from
    him after my parents divorced. A few years ago Donna and I met him again in Saint Louis,
    and we were cordial if not much else then. And I actually told him I had forgiven him
    his choices previously … my brother didn’t do anything like that, and still carries
    a lot of anger concerning him.

    Blessings to you both —

    Feral Boy

  7. executivepagan Post author

    I’m glad you had the chance to do that! I never really cleared the air with my uncle before he passed away a few years ago, and while I don’t have anger around that relationship I do still carry some regret. This being-human thing is complicated…

  8. luckyloom1

    I’m so sorry. Family relationships can be such complicated and painful things; it can take a life-time to resolve so many of the issues they lead us to wrestle with. And yet as you say, you have your beautiful daughter and the world and your loved ones are blessed to have you too – life is a mysterious but magical thing, the pain and the joy both seem to take us all deeper into that place. My throughts are with you and your family; take tender care of yourself.

  9. executivepagan Post author

    Thanks for the kind words… given everything you’ve been going through, I really appreciate the thought! :)

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