He’d been ill for years, though they never told us till quite recently. We saw his decline, though, even if we didn’t know what was wrong. He had chronic leukaemia. Early this evening, my mother in law phoned to tell us he had died.
He was a difficult man. Dogmatic and easily angered. Volatile. But he had a quirky sense of humour. In his own way, he loved his son and it was obvious that he doted on his grandchildren.
I don’t think he ever quite accepted me, and although he had mellowed over the last couple of years, I never found the courage to tell my inlaws that I’m transgender. As it was, he probably never forgave me for being (as I still thought back then) a lesbian – and never mind that I’ve always been true to my husband.
Insolent though it may seem, I cannot help but feeling relieved that I will never have to face him anymore. Sure, I am sad for my husband and children. Sad for my mother in law too, but my sense of relief at never having to fear his scorn anymore is both overwhelming and disturbing. I feel guilty for not mourning him.
Tomorrow, my husband will go up north, to be with his mother during this difficult time. We don’t really know what’s going to happen next and when. Will he be buried or cremated? When will the funeral be? Will I be able to go? Who else will be there?
Quite honestly, I dread having to face the rest of the family. Last time, at the funeral of one of my husband’s aunts about ten years ago, most of them didn’t seem to appreciate my being there. I still don’t know why, seeing that I was still pretending to be a real woman back in those days. I fear they won’t like me any better now that I “dress up” as a man. And quite obviously, this is not to time to come out to my husband’s relatives. I may be thick, but not that thick.
Oh, and suddenly there’s this other little problem. With my father in law dead, I will want to (eventually) come out to my mother in law – which frankly makes me piss my pants. I’ve no idea how she will take that. She seems to like me well enough – as a woman, that is…