My father-in-law died on Tuesday(April 9th, 2013). Many emotions have sliced their way through me during these last few days. So many, in fact, that I have been reluctant to post about it until now. If you are going to make a public statement about a life event, then you should at least have an idea of how you really feel about it. Furthermore, you want to do the subject justice.
Me and George, met shortly after I and his daughter began to get serious, in our relationship. He readily accepted me and he never wavered from that position. He was one of the few, of my wife’s family, who did so. He showed me on many occasions that he was happy to have me as part of his family. He actually came by to visit us and often invited us to go do things together. Never once did he show me an ounce of disrespect. In fact, at one point he even stated that I could call him Dad if I so desired. The way he treated me, was completely the opposite from most of my wife’s family, and in him, I found a person of honor, kindness, wisdom, and understanding.
During that last years of his life, Alzheimer’s laid claim on him, however, due to a falling out with the rest of my wife’s family, we were unable to visit him. This is where the mixed emotions came in. Of course, like any other human being, I was deeply saddened by the loss but I was also angered that other family members were so filled with pride, that they could not reconcile differences, in order to allow for us to visit George before he died. This not only made the loss that much greater but it turned what was a temporary rift into a permanent one. This was not something you could take back or fix with an “I’m sorry”. None of those things would bring George back and allow us the opportunity to say goodbye. There is simply no way to justify this course of action and no remedy for it. I once thought, that everything was forgivable, but now I see there are some things, permanent things, that cannot be.
This only, in the end, adds yet another layer of sadness upon what was already a deeply saddening situation. For not only is George lost to us, but now the family members responsible for this outcome, are also permanently lost too. It was this fact alone that left me stunned for days. I simply could not accept that any human being would do something this hurtful to their own family. Coming to terms with it, accepting it, really does not do anything for me. I just leaves me cold.
I guess the only thing I can do at this point is try to focus on the great memories we shared and move on.
George, I hope wherever you are, you find some decent people, who are worthy of what you have to give. I also hope, that we shall once more see each other, when my path upon this earth ends. Take care, and thank you for being the dad I never really had.
RIP George H Schacherl (1/28/30-4/9/13)