Now you are gone

What happens when you grieve a person when they are still living?
You grieve the loss of them and they are essentially dead to you.

But then they actually die.

The thoughts left for an estranged parent are tremendous, especially if you grieved them while still alive.

I had no choice, I had to keep myself alive, you had your choices and I had mine. You chose booze, I chose freedom.

Now you are gone.

I wonder if I should have done it differently.
Now I ache to know what your final words and thoughts were.
Why wasn’t I called? Because I would have been there.

I saw signs of you before your passing and ignored them.
I see signs of you now and feel pain.

I am now learning the stories of when you were good
When you proposed to mom, how you won her over, how your alcoholism didn’t show at first.

But then I flash to you throwing your wedding rings at us while I was doing my math homework at the kitchen table in 5th grade. I was learning my 8 times tables, funny I failed every math quiz except for my 8 times tables.
That is when you screamed at her and threw your wedding rings at her.
They landed on 8×8 = ______.
The answer is 64.
I learned that one fast and can’t forget it.

How do you a grieve a man you were taught to hate, who you naturally disliked, who chose alcohol over you?

But shares the blood that runs through your system.

Father.

A word I learned to hate but now I yearn.

MATTISON PAYNE
07/15/2020