One month after father’s physical death, I had a strong impulse to write down some thoughts on what it means to be together. The words are failing me, but I still wanted to give myself a chance to express how I feel about the continuation of strong bonds beyond physical death.
Last December, I was in the office of one of father’s oncologists. I wanted to hear about advanced cancer treatments. At one point, the doctor stopped for few seconds, looked at me sternly and said, “You need to cut the ropes”.
Despite the sting in the heart, I understood the doctor meant well. In her world, cutting the ropes was the best thing for me to do.
But in my world, how could I conceive of cutting the ropes? How could I stop trying to help the man with whom I’ve had a strong bond ever since I’ve known myself. Metastasised colon cancer does not give much room for hope for survival. But I wanted to hope we can find a treatment to extend my father’s life.
Cutting the ropes was not something I was ready to do.
A few weeks later, my father’s illness advanced. I took a break from everything I do in order to be by his side. In one of his lasts days, I whispered in his ear, “We are together. I am with you.”
Ever since, the words, “We are together”, have been on my mind. It’s been four weeks since my father passed away. Would there be another way of being together?
I am now stepping in the territory of metaphysical assumptions about bonds between people who are living and people who pass away.
So, here I go. When you love someone so much, it’s not possible that the love stops when the other person passes away or when you yourself stop existing from the physical world.
Father and I can’t communicate the way we have been used, in this physical reality. We can’t talk on the phone, every day. We can’t have dinner at the same table, in my childhood home. We can’t spend holidays together, the way we used to. And yet, somewhere at another dimension of reality, the pure love must continue and connect us.
Cutting the ropes is not what I want. Instead, I choose to have a better understanding on how our connection can live on. In the last four weeks, I’ve had more dreams about father than ever before. Most of those dreams seem so real.
Maybe dreams hold the key to understanding that being together doesn’t mean, exclusively, two persons in the same physical space. Maybe there is some other unconscious part of ourselves that travels at night and experiences, in a similar way the conscious self experiences when we are awake.
Most certainly, father will live in my memories and the memories of those who love him. Other than that, could meditation and imagination nurture the love between father and myself? In my imagination, I want to believe that a part of myself keeps company to him in whatever reality he is now living.
Physical death can’t be the end.