I thought it would be nice to share a bit of my inspiration – my father

Matthew Hendricks
depressionpoetrygriefmental-health
2 / 15 / 19

My journey into learning more about my mental health was set off by the sudden passing of my father.  It wasn't just the experience of grief that left me wondering what to do with myself – I've found a few pathways through the work he kept to himself.

We didn't have a lot of time between the period he was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer and when he started his transition to the next life, consequently I didn't have a lot of chances to ask him all the things I ever wanted to (whoever does?)

Luckily for me, he was just as careful with his words as I am.

I also understand how shy he was about sharing his ideas – because being a nosy 13-year old learning about filesystems – I happened upon a lot of his work. Some he would be proud of, although mostly kept his writing to himself. Beyond his DNA and philosophical wisdom, he left many more tools for me to find than either of us ever knew at that time.

brown book beside MacBook
Photo by Colton Sturgeon / Unsplash

There's a hard drive in Nebraska full of thoughts just like this one below I hope to get my hand on some day – but thankfully, I can look at some of the work I saved over the years and can see the clear story arch. From his preceding, unstable years in fatherhood to his later simpler life where he settled before he died, I can relate to many of his struggles and my patterns.  And now that he's gone and rested, I can't wait to share some of his unique poetry and ideas with the world.

The reason for where I am at, is mine alone
The direction I go, needs to be navigated
To set a star and to travel life’s dreams
But to stay focused has been my down fall
I shall search for one more star and set sail for it
But this time I will keep my sextant and compass by my side.
I will stay focused on the journey.
But the journey will be long
I will need to put into port to replenish my supplies and soul
I will enjoy the fruits of the path
I will stop and enjoy the sunsets and rise’s
To watch the flowers grow
To join in when the children play
To make a home where all are safe
To make a home of infinite love from the soul
Where all are welcome and loved
To stay the course and reach the star

I hope by sharing his ideas, his light will shine on to enjoy another sunset

My father is apparently saying he had issues with focus, and with that, lacked motivation and discipline. It's ironic that it wasn't until after he passed away, and I had to start dealing with grief, and eventually my depression (and finally, my patterns) that I could go back and see how the ideas he was expressing were as neuro-chemical in nature as my own struggles.

person showing black and white compass
Photo by Tim Graf / Unsplash

His thoughts give me hope and wonder where I can navigate myself to by following his compass.

I think he's talking about reward motivated pathways in his poem – to envision a goal, to replenish your supplies, and stay the course to a place of infinite love.

Or that's how I see it.  What do you think?

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