Posted: Category: Personal

 Nigel Singer

Well apparently I am supposed to be grieving. 

I tell people that my dad died at the beginning of December and most of the time they then tell me that it will be difficult, that I should remember the good things and then they head into their own experience of the death of parent.  Not everyone does this – but many.

I am learning lots of things as a consequence of this experience.

We don’t all have similar experiences of death and grief.

There is no such thing as normal

We do lots of adaptive listening – (adapting the thing that someone tells us to our own experience)

There are some strong rules that say we shouldn’t think negatively about people who have died

I don’t miss him

I feel quite relaxed about him having died

I want and need to look at my relationship to fathering, how I do it, how it was done to me and the emotional residue

Not everyone will be sharing my experience

I now need to start sifting my experience and working out what I need from the social constructs that surround me.

Death and change

Posted: Category: Personal

 Nigel Singer

My father died early on the morning of 5th December.  He has had frontal lobe dementia and been in a care home for three years.

I have a complex history with him – many years of distress and pain, needing to work through my feelings and reactions to him. Getting help when needed, grieving, meeting and sometimes avoiding, sometimes working on it.

Earlier today I was talking with someone and said that in many ways he has been my primary teacher.  It felt good to say it – I have learnt about my relationship to conflict and also to compassion as a consequence of my struggle with him (and with me).

There were times of acute pain and these don’t disappear although the strength of feeling attached to them starts to shift and change.

Some of my teachers talk about ‘changing the past’; I’m not sure about this yet but am clear that I have some ongoing work to do with regard to this relationship.