What is one thing you caught your parents doing that you wish you had never seen?
Not my parents, but my father alone.
My older brother committed suicide when I was in my late teens; he was 21 at the time.
I periodically visit his memorial; I’ve been once or twice with other family and my father. Visits tend to be emotional, but the pain clears after some time – different people grieve in different ways.
I hadn’t been to my brothers grave for a long time – years. I felt I’d had closure – not forgotten, but forgiven as it were. I’d moved on, in a way.
One day I was driving past the cemetery and thought, simply I’d go and say “hi,” – I could barely remember what the plaque looked like. As I got closer, I saw someone standing right by where I was heading. I backed off, I thought I’d give them respectful space.
Some time passed, and the person turned – he had a flower in his hand, and he was exiting the area of the garden away from me. I recognised his gait, and I don’t know why I hadn’t picked up on it earlier – I guess I just wasn’t expecting it or something, but I knew my Dad – it was definately him. He was too far away, and I awkwardly didn’t want to shout out to him – I called his phone. The distant figure pulled his mobile out, looked at it, and cut the call.
He put his flower in the garbage can, leaned heavily on it and heaved his shoulders. Then, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and kept walking.
Nothing in my life at that moment has alarmed or disturbed me so much – my father who I love deeply, the pain he feels at the loss of a son. I saw something that day that cut me in two. Defeat? Whatever it was, it was painful for both of us.
We’ve talked about it – that day in fact. He told me he didn’t take my call because he was too raw – sometimes it happens I guess. He’s angry sometimes at my brother but more often himself; he feels despondent and worthless sometimes – a father who buried a son.
I wish I never had to see my parents (either of them) like that, ever.
This article was taken from Quora