Today I interrupted my time out to go to a funeral. One where we celebrated the life of one of my work mates who had a very short run in with pancreatic cancer. As in 16 days from diagnosis to the great beyond. He was a top bloke, and older man who never wanted to retire and who was a sweet loving accepting person of all those he came into contact with.
He was also the father in law of someone with whom I was compelled to cut ties 4 years ago.
Prior to those 4 years I’d been very close to his family, was no stranger to his home and we were always good for a chat about the footy and a catch up on the grand kids. But the schism separated more than me and his daughter, it cooled things with him and me too. And that was another of the tragedies in the whole business.
In recent times we’d been able to manage a brief hello and even a short run down on how the kids were doing. It was never acrimonious, I think it was just easier for him to be distant. I understand it, lots of people got hurt and above all he was a family man, no crime there he had to support his kids and I bear no grudge for that.
It’s sad that he’s gone, he was a lovely man, and I’m sad that things went the way they did between me and his family, I’m sad that he went so quickly but pleased, above all, that everyone had time to say goodbye and that the suffering was short, and that he knew where he was going. His presence will be sorely missed around the traps at work. His cheeky, yet quiet, demeanour was often present in the cafe, his handiwork evident all over the campus. His absence will be felt for a long time to come.
It was a tough morning. Today I saw from afar the family I’ve stayed away from for so long, saw the kids I missed who’ve grown so much, seen the sister they have who I don’t even know. Saw their Dad.
I couldn’t bring myself to go and say hello, I left as soon as it was all over, ducking out the back. It wasn’t appropriate to introduce that added dynamic of that particular reunion to the wake. It wouldn’t have been good for my emotional health.
But I am completely surprised by how tempting it would be go get right back in there boots and all, to pick up ties once again.
I loved them all so much.
I’ll miss the old bloke.
I miss them more.