As the holidays draw near I find my disposition growing more melancholy as I face my first Christmas without my father. I endeavour to keep my spirits up but it is difficult. My father was one of the most generous and well-intentioned man I have ever known. Though he had his failings, as we all do, he was always quick to confess them to others and never ignored a chance to improve himself. My father knew that the real demons in the world are the ones inside of our own hearts and tried hard to forgive others for their weaknesses as well as forgive himself.
In the eight months or so since he has passed I have grappled with a depth of sadness that I have never known. Since I was quite young my dad tried to remind me that when he finally was gone it was important not to dwell in sadness. He would remind me of one of his favorite poems, Remember by Christina Rossetti. The last few lines are the ones that my dad was always quick to remind me of.
If you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better far that you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
As important as this sentiment is, it is difficult to adopt in one's actions. For, each time I think of these lines, they remind me of my father's generous spirit and the importance that my own happiness played in the thoughts of my father, and that itself makes me sadder than I can express. Fortunately, the irony of this would not be lost on my father.