When I was nine years old, I lost my father in a motor accident on his way home, the day we were supposed to leave for a family holiday up the coast. The following few weeks, I alternated between total numbness and grief.
At his funeral, someone told me “You must be strong now”. After that, I learned to keep my feelings in check, keep the grief buried, but there were times when they bubbled to the surface. Times when I was tired or alone, or when I saw my friends with their father, or my cousins with my uncles.
With more time, I became a very good actor: no matter what I felt inside, I could look happy. Talk to me about my dad and I would smile and say how proud I was of him. But behind the smile I was definitely not happy. I learned that while time buried the past but, the past can still resurface to haunt you. November the 11th was dad’s birthday and November the 26th was the day he died. The end of the year was always the worst time of the year for me. I hated it
At the age of 21, I was given the opportunity to apply Dianetics counselling techniques to the loss of my father. Despite 12 years of trying to bury the emotion, bury the pain and regret, it all came out when I confronted it with the help of a trained Dianeticist. By the end of that one Dianetics session, I felt lighter, my environment seemed brighter and I felt sort of “fresh”.
As the next November approached, I prepared for what I knew was coming: the flood of memories, the grief and desire to just be alone. Well, the 11th of November came and went. The 26th of November came and went. And none of the negative feelings came with it. I thought, “I am sure I should be feeling sad by now” but I just wasn’t. No heavy gloominess. No grief.
With Dianetics I overcame what I had come to accept as a nightmare I would never escape. My memories of my father are no longer dominated by sadness and loss. I am free to remember my dad with genuine happiness and gratitude for our time together.