[Apr 2013] Compassion in Grief

I am scheduling events in my calendar, and I don’t really believe it. It is absolutely unbelievable. As if it didn’t happen to me and to my daddy. I have events in my calendar like “Choosing grave”, “Going for father’s ashes”, “Father’s funeral”, “Mass for father”. So unbelievable, so distant, while I still have the reflex to grab my phone and call daddy to talk to him. Or that I just step by the hospital to visit him. Or many times I just don’t think about it, as if everything was alright, and he was living his little life at home, carefree…

In the evening I went to meet my teammates and watch their indoor soccer match. I haven’t played soccer for weeks now, but I didn’t want to return to the game now. I didn’t really desire playing, but I thought it would be nice to spend some time them. Most of them already knew what happened to my father. They offered their condolences personally, and hugged me. This felt really good.

A friend of mine, Bod arrived late. I suspected he hadn’t heard about my father’s death yet. He saw me sitting in casual clothes on the bench. He came to me and asked me why I wasn’t playing, if I had an injury or anything else. But halfway through the question he said that it didn’t really matter and he didn’t want to question me. I told him I wasn’t injured, but I hadn’t played for weeks and I didn’t feel like playing anyway. I became certain that he didn’t know the news about my father, so I decided to tell him.

I told him, fighting with my tears, that my daddy died last weekend. His face became distorted, he knit his brows, and nodded his head. I can’t remember the words he said, he might have been sorry or something. But I’ll always remember what I saw on his face. It was the deepest compassion and empathy, so much that I could see him become frightened at the mere thought of losing a father. It seemed like he wanted to push the thought and the feeling further away from himself, and behaved as if he had lost his own daddy and signaled it to me that he was not ready or able to talk about it. This was written on his face: he was not able to talk about it. All he said to me then was: “It is the worst ever, really horrible… I can’t say anything…” He didn’t say anything more, just stood there gazing in the distance, and I was merciful, and didn’t say or ask anything more.

This deep compassion really touched me. What I felt him saying to me was: “This is such a pain, that is unbearable, even if it didn’t happen to me.” I’ll never forget his face and his message from this evening.


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