Deep heartfelt thanks to all of you for your comments and emails. They have comforted and sustained me.
I feel tremendously sad but not disturbed or as if I need to anaesthetise myself, which is a great blessing.
A long-sober AA friend on a private mailing list sent this comment to me and it is something I am holding to right now –
‘Sober, you get to feel all the aspects of his exit, which I’d guess will be an experience that lasts many years.’
Unhindered grieving has a very natural flow — however painful — and I intend to feel all that needs to be felt. The last two years have been the most truly lived years of my adult life and if I had been present to my own reality years ago, the disconnect between my father and myself might have been overcome. I did what I could but always in a fog and amidst the roller coaster of drinking.
I haven’t heard back from my sisters or brother — very much a pattern in my family, the frozen communications, but at least I have the peace of knowing I will be here if they do reach out.
I have a completely unproven and unprovable belief that for those of us who sober up later in life when we do not have decades of sobriety and time to mature ahead of us, there is an enhanced learning curve so that all the truncated or stunted places and feelings blocked by years of alcoholism get freed up in order that we are able to live more fully and usefully. My pet heresy, I suppose.