Circle Of Love

After my father died, I couldn’t feel him. For about a year, I would search for a sign of him, sometimes a dove – his bird, symbol of peace – would appear on my birthday. The dove would settle in the eaves and sing his mournful lament and my heart would break open and imbibe. Then I began to have strange feelings, heaving depression, wanting to die, profound pain in the body. I’d have ferocious headaches, something unknown to me before this. And I’d find myself holding grudges against someone, stubbornly holding on to being RIGHT. After a while, I realized these symptoms were my father’s. That the shell of the ego when it is formed is not only yours, but is the sum of the relations among you and both of your parents, a three-way affair. I had internalized so much of my father’s angst, fear, righteousness and now that he was no longer in a form that could embody these, they manifested through me. For three years, I wandered in a haze, flailing, uninspired to do much of anything. I distracted with movies or food until I felt numb. There were moments of such intensity, I felt I couldn’t bear it any more. I prayed to God to take me. And somehow I stumbled through if not forward, hoping it was healing something for him. And then, fours years to the day that he passed, I went to Satsang and an enormous presence arose inside me. Words fall short of describing how it felt. Perhaps the closest I can come is to say that this presence felt like God, the true Self, saturated in love, in light. And into that hugeness, my father had finally dissolved. An overwhelming sense of peace washed over me, like a bath of grace. And just like that, my father was no more. He had vanished into, how can one speak it, infinity. Tears of gratitude, of all-encompassing love overflowed from my eyes, now seeing the truth of everything. The story of my father – after all the wild wrangling, the collision of love and need, the suffering that yoked us together – had melted back into the source out of which it arose. Not my father AS Presence but my father vanishing back, subsumed into the all pervasive Presence that he always was. And as I slowly emerged from meditation, a vision arose: vivid as if it were happening right now. My father at the front gate of our house in Dublin, white hanky in hand, frantically waving me off as I left for America, his face a sunbeam of smiles. I watched him get smaller and smaller, shrinking until there was only a gossamer hint of tissue waving in the breeze. Goodbye, dearest Eily, travel safe, be happy, goodbye.


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