Defriending my Father


Dad and Me

You may think I got in a fight with my Dad, by that title.  Maybe you think I’m immature or thin-skinned  or just ridiculous for even considering “defriending” my Dad on the Facebook.  What kind of petty son does something like that?

But, you see, it’s none of the above.  I’ve actually never gotten into a fight with my Dad (and I never ever will.  Ever).  I don’t think he’s ever even hurt my feelings (and I can guarantee you that he never, ever ever will).  And the stupid Facebook came into existence so far into both our lives that even the idea of interacting on the Facebook is silly, besides.  And no, even if one of us did get mad, or hurt the feelings of the other, we’d never stoop so low (nor waste our time) “defriending” on the FB.

No, the reason I’m considering defriending is because my Dad is dead.  While today mark’s his birthday — which the Facebook so painfully reminded me of — he died on February 14th, 2014.   I have thought sometimes about why he even still has a presence on social media, especially on the FB.  I have tried hard to just be open minded about it — it’s a way of remembering him; it’s a good way to go back and see pictures and stuff; it’s a way for others to keep him in mind.  But I never went back to his FB page.  Except for today.

I think the reality actually is that we are so afraid of death and “disappearing” that we can’t bring ourselves to make a choice, of our own volition, to acknowledge that — though every moment is a miracle — nothing lasts forever and when we blink out, that is it.  Defriending is a vote in favor of this reprehensible plan that has us all living, struggling to be “happy”, making friends, becoming devoted — only to see it all torn away at various random painful moments and then asked to carry on until we, ourselves, are just torn away form this Earthly plane.

I think, though, that the best way of managing this charade is to do two things — first, let’s all just agree that everymomentisamiracle; and, second, take action which acknowledges that it all goes away — all.  You.  Me.  Sun.  Earth.  In other words, defriend the dead if the account cannot be deactivated — but by all means deactivate the account upon the person’s passing — or if absolutely necessary leave it up for one year at most during a classical grieving period.  But wear black that whole year, too, then.

Take care to remember those who have gone on.  But don’t linger in fear and inaction during this short time while the Earth still holds you in it’s capricious beautiful grasp.  Be not afraid of that nightfall that will consume each one of us.  For everymomentisamiracle, but only if your moments are not consumed by fear and delusion.

4 thoughts on “Defriending my Father”

  1. Michael, I sit in my “retreat room” window seat. Tears on cheeks and snuffling as I discover another young man from our family (besides my son) uses his gift of words to blog. What an unlikely unlovely word. Blog. Yet in this space where men and women feel free to be their Show and Tell selves, no longer children adored & tolerated by older generations, older generations get to once again tingle with pride, and learn again how love rises in the throat and tears soften the pain of so long loved ones letting go of their last breaths and leaving us behind. But we still have you. You youngsters who are older now than we were when we birthed you. Your words, your blogs, are treasures I will return to when I need to get reintegrated… As you say, I too see and live the disintegration that is the gift of every long life. Wonderful. This moment of connection via your response to Devins blog…& my discovery of yours. May I get emails when you’re writing as spinfisher? How do I subscribe?

    1. Aunt Nathalie, thank you so much for these kind and generous words. Devin, and my Dad, too, inspire me to write. I don’t write often, only when the “spirit moves me!” (which isn’t as much as I would like). There’s got to be a way to “follow” the blog, but I can’t figure it out yet…I’m new to this. 🙂 I’ll keep looking. I’ll let you know personally, in the meantime, next post. Thanks Aunt Nathalie!

      1. I had lost my ability to post … maybe a new computer but they kept telling me my password and my email address already belonged to some one else. WEIRD. Glad to see that you replied though I had not remembered either of our posts … This week is the week in 2014 that my Mom died. I have remembered her for about the last 8 days in a way that reminds me of the clouds or fog on the ground or penetrating trees or lying lovely on water that really GOOD photographers catch –and I just want to sit and look at. It’s good grief I guess. And good to find these words and remember Ted too, and the last supper we had at the big table in Las Vegas. He was eloquent and gracious. Jim has missed him, and his reunion with Holy Mother the Church was very much a tribute to Ted’s influence. Loving you Walsh family men, and thinking of this disintegration as nature’s not really welcome but necessary gift to us all – the living and the dead.

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