A question that has been bothering me since the passing away of my father is the question of grief. As in, what is it, exactly, that makes me feel in that particular bad way I am now feeling? Because it is certainly noticeable that I am feeling something; it does not take much to detect behavioural changes taking place upon me since receiving the news of my father's "just a question of time" state.
Having thought about it, I got to the conclusion that my grief is the result of missed opportunities. Never again will I be able to do something with my father, tell him about something that happened to me, or hear him telling me something. That's it; this death arrangement is very permanent. It is the only thing that lasts forever.
It's not just not being able to do things in the future that causes grief. The worst part of the grief is to do with all the things I could have done in the past but dismissed, through one reason or another. There is plenty of that, especially given my migration across the world: by leaving Israel in favour of Australia I severely reduced any opportunities for mutual activities. But even before that, I can recall being too busy with work or having better things to do with my time than spend time with my father. I am not the only one at fault here: my father had his things, the things he liked to do, and spending time with one of his children was not always at the top of his priority list.
There is no end to missed opportunities. I can wax lyrical about not being able to do this or that with my father or complain at my parents not taking up on the communication opportunities presented by the Internet as much as I can physically can. However, it feels a lot like complaining at not winning the lottery: those numbers that won yesterday's draw were simple numbers, the bastards, so why couldn't I figure them out on time?
I guess grief is one of those things only time can heal. Probably never in full.
Image by Tim Hamilton, Creative Commons licence