Petru, my grandfather, took part in World War II and at the end, returned home in Romania from Tatra Mountains (Slovakia) by bike: this true story is one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think about the father of my father.
He died when I was 31 years old and I did not spend time getting to know him better.
We, the grandchildren, used to call him “tata-mare”.
Here are some thoughts for him:
Sorry I did not come to your funeral. I was busy doing something else, but the truth is that I did not want to confront myself with the idea of dying and that, one day, I will die too.
I did not want to be a witness to my parents’ grief, when burying their parent, as I would have seen myself reflected in them. I would have realized that one day I might be in their shoes, which at that moment was a thought hard to deal with.
Back then, it felt easier to simply get myself involved in other activities. This way, my mind would not think too much about death, mourning, pain and aging.
Back then, I did not find meaning in confronting my own fears, speak about them or expressing them somehow.
Now, the truths seems to set me free, although I still lie to myself sometimes and I am not ready to let go.
I did not find all the answers to my questions and fears about death, but accepting this thought, that I do not know and have all the answers, actually brought me more peace of mind. I do not know and that is ok.
Until we see each other, Tata-mare, I will keep living here.