This week was the first time I visited my father’s grave. It was a hard but necessary action I needed to take. Not ony did I spend this weekend remembering my dad other other loved ones who are no longer here, I took time to reflect on all that has occured since my dad died on January 2, 2021.
My dad told me when people die foolishness occurs. Some of the foolishness is not intentional. People say or take actions because their minds are clouded with grief. Others turn into the “what’s in it for me” type of people. The rest are supportive and ask, “How can I help?”
On Twitter after my dad’s funeral, I said that when I tossed the rose into my father’s grave after his casket was lowered down that I was also tossing away foolishness, fear, toxic relationships, and establishing firm boundaries.
Regardless of people’s actions, my dad felt it was important to be kind to people. He was never the cut you off type of person. I told my dad that when he died, I was not sure if I could pretend like I wanted to be bothered with certain people anymore. He respected my decision and asked that I still invite everyone he wanted to his funeral. I granted his request.
While my family was grieving, instead of being supported and our actions and choices respected, people felt it was their place to dictate, make suggestions, or inquire about topics that was not their business.
We have dealt with people wanting my dad’s truck, tractor, and many tools. We have dealt with people wanting to know what my mom was going to do with the paid off house my parents lived in. We have had people inquire if my dad left any money for anyone and what my mother may or may not have received. We were asked about his life insurance.
The worst was people thinking that this was the time to disparge my father’s character and drag his name. My parents are not perfect. My dad was a tough, stotic, and strict man. I get that some people did not care for him or even want my mother to marry him. But damn it, he is dead now. What is the point of worrying about this now? My parents were married for 35 years and dated for years before that. People had almost four decades to squash and beef or address any issues. Bringing these opinions up now while we are grieving and trying to move forward helps no one and these words wound his daughters and his wife.
Part of me did not even want to address this, but I have to because I am never one to back down from my thoughts even if they make people uncomfortable or angry.
My dad was a Black man who left us no debt, put his daughters through college, and supported his family until his last day on earth. That’s the story that I have to focus on and if people don’t want to join in my joyful memories, then they will have to exit my mothers, sisters, children, and nieces life stage left post haste.
I kept my word to my dad, but the memories I make moving forward in my life without my dad have to be and will be on my terms.
Rest in Peace and Power, Dad, and I will live in Peace and Power until we meet again!