Those that know me, and have ever heard me even mention MY father, know that I loved Muneer Hassan Sr. more than any other person on the planet. Today, Dec 14th is the anniversary of his death.
In 1994, when I was just 20 years old, my dad committed suicide.
It was labeled an accidental death, but nonetheless I experienced my real life SUPERMAN lying there lifeless on the floor of his San Francisco home. I had never seen my dad, lifeless. Yet there he WAS quiet, still, and completely done with life. Besides the shock, my 20 year old conscience spoke to me. It was humbled and it said,
“When you die, you do nothing.”
Of course we’ve all got our beliefs and our wishes around death and some of us even have our fears around death.
My dad wasn’t afraid.
As a matter of fact, people that commit suicide aren’t afraid of death; they are afraid of life. Life is extremely challenging at times. Living and creating expectations or trying to live up to others expectations is truly a struggle at times. Unless we learn how to really get to know, love, and respect ourselves; and I do mean on a selfish level, sometimes it’s all about you. If we cannot do that, we will always have a hard time finding true peace and serenity.
OF COURSE I miss my father.
Of course I wanted him to see me get married.
He did, after all, know Tiffanie and he always told me, that if they were friends of mine, they were friends of his. MY DAD was a genius. He understood people and knew how to make them feel special. He was as charming as I am, and a studied man that could speak and teach with such confidence and conviction that even if he was bullshitting you, you’d be buying every wooden nickel he was selling… then he’d smile!
My dad was a ladies man and a bigger flirt than myself. I remember he’d get on me for calling him ‘dad’ in the grocery store and be like, “Hey man, call me bro or something, but don’t be calling me dad!” He was kidding of course, but I so loved him for his sense of humor. My dad also taught me so many of life’s secrets and mysteries both with his life and in his death. He taught me that the element of surprise is an awesome game changer, with both your enemies and those you love.
What my dad had the hardest time with was the intimate relationships he had with women, and of course, himself.
He had his first child with Linda, another three with my mom Paula, who raised my half-brother Shakir for a time as well. Then he married Mabel, my step mom, AND raised her daughters Crystal, Evangela and their love child, Malikah. He finally hooked up with Barbara Maguirre and had Melissa; she is my youngest sister that I currently have no relationship with. It saddens me, and it made him sad as well, to have these relationships with women, then go through a shift in emotions and come to a point in the relationship where he had no tools and/or understanding as how to make things work.
My dad was a Leo, he knew very much how to fight or flee. He did both! While I now understand his limitations and short comings as a man, I STILL CELEBRATE HIM because while he’s no Superman, like I thought he was, he was a loving and caring father to all of his kids. A simple man raised in a dysfunctional family just like the rest of us. He did his best and when he couldn’t bear the pain anymore, he checked out.
He shot up a speedball after six years of sobriety and working in recovery. He said fuck it!
Yes, I use foul language like my dad did. I was raised by him primarily and he allowed me to curse as a kid. He also taught me to be appropriate with my energy and actions. I know better than to go into a synagogue, or house of prayer, and be Mr. Potty Mouth. Yet, I’m a grown and responsible man who sometimes chooses to use these colorful adjectives to express my grittiness, and give a bit of flavor to my words.
This morning’s post is really about me celebrating the life of my father.
The man that inspired me to operate tractors,…
…and got me into landscaping in the first place.
My dad was a comedian and often acted crazy. He was Bipolar, no wonder! None of these qualities could fully label and explain who he truly was as a person though. The only way to express that, in my opinion, would be to say that he was beautifully complex.
Just like the way that life is.
Life isn’t static. It’s forever changing.
The clouds often roll in and bring a gloomy darkness in order to create balance. Yes, I’m speaking philosophically. I’m a self-proclaimed philosopher, I thought you knew. Philosophy is nothing more than a way of seeing or living life. It gives reason or meaning to life. I live the way I do and I am the way I am because I subscribe to the belief that we’re all evolving. We’re developing and growing, hopefully learning and improving so that we can improve our future lives, definitely our kids, and even those that come after us.
I’ve always thought that the most significant way that I can pay homage to my father is to continue to evolve and take all of the tools and characteristics I learned from him and go a bit further. I want to stretch into the unknown and not allow the demons that ultimately took him out to do the same work on me through my mind.
Again I think back to that December 14th, 1994.
I remember my consciousness acknowledging that when you’re dead you do nothing. I also recall that my next thought was “Well if I’m alive and being alive is the opposite of being dead, apparently I’m supposed to be doing everything!” I have been doing everything ever since.
I am Ahmed, son of Muneer, the luminous and brilliant one.
I have an obligation to my father and his father and my ancestors that have passed.
I have an obligation to the planet and those people that know me.
An obligation to learn, to teach, to love and then perish.
I consciously choose to harness all of my pain, my internal struggles, and my passion to create the life of my dreams. No matter what, I will stay focused on this as the goal. I may, or may not, be understood. I may, or may not, be accepted; but no matter what I’ll remember to always love myself. I’ll stand in the space to remind others to always love themselves.
I love and miss you Dad and I thank the Universe for allowing me the privilege of coming and learning from you.
ASII (And So It Is)