Monday, January 17, 2011

A Dying Father's Last Words

My father passed away last week; the funeral was this weekend. I don’t plan to talk much about this on here, as I believe it is inappropriate given the scope of this blog, and also extraordinarily personal.

However, I wanted to share with you something he told me the final time we spoke. He had been planning to leave a letter for myself and for my brother to read after he passed away, but due to a sudden turn for the worse, he was unable to write them: he delivered them instead face-to-face.

I will share with you but one sentence from his “last letter” to me:

“I know that there are some things you have been secretive about – and you have the right to be secretive – but you should know that your mother and I love you unconditionally; we always have, and we always will.”

The “secretive things” he was referring to was mainly my sexuality; both of my parents (and all of my friends) know that I am gay, but my extended family does not.

This one sentence, this one thought, touched me so deeply. Unconditional love is something that all children deserve from their parents, but which so many fail to receive. Love without exception, love without qualifier, love without prerequisite – that is the only type of love a parent must foster for his or her children.

My father, by the way, was a Republican, through and through. There was a lot we would disagree on when it came to politics. But my father was a good man: he believed in equality for all people, and that included in the institution of marriage. I remember several years ago, when Massachusetts was first legalizing gay marriage, my father told me he believed that gay marriage would be a reality, nation-wide, in 10 years. Who knows if the future will validate his prediction.

These were my father’s last words to me, his final confession to me: that he loved me unconditionally, regardless of any one aspect of my being. Would that we were all so fortunate to be given the boundless love that my father had for me.

8 comments:

  1. Alex, I am so sorry to hear about your father. I lost my dad when I was 25. I'm also so happy that he was able to let you know how he feels. It's such an important reminder that love is what matters. And never to wait to tell someone what they mean to you. You will be in my thoughts Alex.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this extremely intimate passage from your fathers letter. He sounds like a wonderful man and truly loving father. How fortunate you are to have experienced his unwavering love. My most sincere condolences for you and your family's loss.

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  3. I always think whenever a horrible event, like the shooting in Tucson, takes place, how can a parent not stand by their gay child. Not because these things are worse but because the parents of the perp stand by their child. They love them still. being gay is not worse than this. An act of love should not push parents away if an act of violence should not either.

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  4. I am so sorry to hear about your loss I think loosing a parent is one of the most difficult things we have to go through in life. I am sure your father was very proud to have a son like you. I was able to tell my father how I felt in a Christmas card. it was the best thing I ever did as he died two weeks later. Take care and know that time will help heal the pain.

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  5. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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  6. My condolences Alex, thank you for sharing.

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  7. I loved your father so much Alex. He was such a wondreful man and though I know I will never feel the loss that you do, I miss him very much. I'm so happy you shared this because it's a reminder that parents should love their children no matter what. I'm so happy to know that he conveyed that to you before he departed and I know he was completely honest about that. I love you very much and have been thinking about you a lot :)

    Love you,
    Liv

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