Yesterday evening, I watched the two new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice – and they both had something in common that got me thinking, or more: reminiscing.
See, in Grey’s Anatomy, they’re currently treating a man from death row. A murderer. And this brings up problems with Shepherd, because his dad was killed when he was young. To make things worse, his mother is there to visit in this episode. So at one point Derek gets really mad and starts talking with his mom and asks her if she’s not still angry because of his dad. You can tell it’s a hard subject, and even though it’s been years they’re still teary eyed on the subject. Do you see where I’m going with this?
As a coincidence, in Private Practice, Charlotte’s “big daddy” is dying from cancer. She travels back to Dixie-land to say goodbye and also to pull the plug. In one scene she says that her dad always thought this cancer was just “chickens coming home to roost” – payback for being a son of a bitch. Only he was always nice to her, so really these were her chickens. She fights hard not to cry, to stay strong, until they’re on the plane back and she falls apart.
It made me realise: it never gets easier. No matter how much time goes by, if you just lost a parent or if it’s been thirteen years, when that thought comes back it cuts just like a newly sharpened knife. My father is missing. I don’t get his input on what I do, I can’t ask him for advice, I’ve lost years of him teaching me things, I’ll be alone when I walk down the aisle. And it’s not so much that I need a father figure to know who I am or to counter the influence of my mother or that I would have been “daddy’s little girl”, it’s all those things and many things more. Someone has told me before that it sounds arrogant when I say things like I know he would be proud of me for where I am now. But how can I not, when it’s the only way of feeling some connection to him. I have to imagine everything – something a person usually only has to do once he’s far beyond grown-up, has a family of his own and a lifetime of memories to fall back on.
In episode 12 of Grey’s Anatomy’s third season, George’s father dies. When Christina meets him outside he says: “I don’t know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn’t.” And then she replies: “Yeah, that never really changes.” That is not just some cheesy plot line, my friends, that’s real life.
Sorry if I just bummed you all out.