Kyle Bruce Bergum is dead, only figuratively metaphorically, not physically, well not yet anyway. We all talk about it, death, and living. A friend was telling me the other day that we spend the first half of our lives thinking we are immortal and the last half of our lives working to understand our own mortality.


Life provides us as individuals many opportunities to live and die, metaphorically. We only get one chance to die physically. Every time our lives change significantly, through choice: move, job changes, marriage, having a child, or divorce. Or our lives change by chance: illness, accidents, acts of God. Or our lives inevitability change. Our experience of life changes, metaphorically, essentially we have been reborn and we are living a new life. Change is commonality, change can come from a decision, from learning by living, from just changing our perspective on our life and the challenges and opportunities that come with living. I have during my lifetime thought I was dead or very much thought I would die. There have been a few accidents, and a few health scares that may just be that scares, but ultimately I was afraid I would die. Eventually, with luck eventually will be a long time, I will die. Before I expire and transition to the next world, I want some certainty some closure I want to reach out to my children and let them know how I feel about them. The last thing I’d want is to actually go to my grave and not have taken the opportunity to express myself and reach out to them, my children remain some of the most amazing people who I have shared my life with.

Decisions are like life. As you move through life and make the choices you make, you can only remember what has past, the past is gone forever. The experience we gain, and the love we share, from the past are the only thing that remains. As with life we don’t know what the future will bring, just as we don’t know what’s on the other side of the door until we go through it. Decisions are doors, and you can choose to go through that door, make that decision, or not. There are a couple of things to consider, a big one is, when your weighing your decision and decide your going through that door, then no matter what, once you’ve made that decision and gone through that door you can’t go back. Once you go through the door the door becomes a wall or at best an opaque window, but never will it be a door for you to return to the past. You can only live in the present, and look to the past to guide you in the future.

Decisions are like death, once you’ve made one you’re left with the consequences forever. When I choose to go through the door of divorce I hypothesized that I’d loose my children, possibly for life. Things were so bad for me I perhaps selfishly, didn’t have a choice anymore I was dying; everything Kyle was falling apart. There was no longer an ability for me to live the lies I was living. No more could I pretend to be the good man with the integrity and character I need and stay in a bad marriage. No more could I pretend to be the sighted professional who was a happy family man. I grieved my marriage long before the divorce, it’s not that I didn’t care but I was totally done; I was dying. The saddest thing for me was the family context. All my life I wanted to be a Dad I wanted ten kids, the family context destruction was very sad for me. Alas in the end that family context too was a lie, as the only way to survive the oppressively bad marriage was to travel or work so hard that I was never home.

After my divorce, I realized how much of my life was a lie. Being raised to hide your disability and its true effect on my life is profoundly oppressive. Being married to someone who threatened me with never seeing my children, someone who made me believe that I was nothing because I was blind that I was totally dependent on her to live was maniacal. Coming out blind was a huge revelation for me. I started living; I also realized how much I’d been lying to everyone including myself. I had always thought of myself as a person on honor integrity, caring, and compassion. I came to realize I was none of those things. Coming “out” blind continues to be a revelation in delight and wonder, a warning being “out” blind isn’t without pearl, there are dragons here. Regardless, I’m happier now than I have ever been in my life, I am more of the person I wanted to be and always hoped I would be.

Not to say I’d never been happy. Being the first person in this world that my son looked at just after he was born will always remain with me as one of the most profoundly significantly happy defining moments of my life. Participating in the birth of my daughter and feeling her come into this world was nothing short of a miracle. Having the privilege of being a Dad and seeing smiles on my children’s faces, having the honor of being there through some of the hard times and easing their pain will always be a treasure to me. The one thing I know was true and remains true is my love for my children. I’ve always loved them, I’ve always been proud of them; I’ve always wanted them in my life. These things are above question above reproach; they are entirely non negotiable. Others have suggested otherwise to my children. Some of the most painful moments in my life have been seeing my children think I don’t love them or value them or think I’m not proud of them. I can tell you it’s never been the case. Any sadness that remains are that the people who enabled me to live a lie are now enabling my children to think that I don’t value them or love them.

This life on this earth is so amazing, I’ve experienced heaven and hell, life, and death. Death is an amazing construct, no ability to communicate or reach out and touch the things you love, no ability to be there to share their pain or their victories. I am dead to my children, and I have been for some time. I am no longer a parent no longer Dad, the dreams I’ve had of family are long dead.

Issues live through the generations, through death, when families refuse to grow and deal with the issues the issues are passed to the next generation; the trauma inflicted on my family by the treatment and discrimination against native Americans has been brutal. The lies my family tells to hide the genetic condition that has caused my disability, the alcoholism, the sexual abuse, the violence is all oppressive. The lost lives and opportunities because they re intent on protecting what I’m not sure. The human condition isn’t architected in such a way to support lies forever, life will eventually dislodge and unearth the pain and suffering, someone will have to deal with it. Being alive now without those that lie or enable lies or refuse to acknowledge the disability and its effects is refreshing. I feel free without the weight of their noise. I pity those in my family who are still stuck in their insanity.

To my children, all I can say is thank you I feel inadequate to express the gratitude that I have for you for being in my life and allowing me to journey for a time and live with you. I apologize only for waiting so long to end a bad marriage and a bad family context, for that I am very sorry. I am also sorry that I let those in my life oppress me and what I am. I dream of a day when we have an opportunity to get to know each other. I assure you the love I expressed for you remains real and unwavering. If you ever think you’ve done anything to hurt me you haven’t, you’ve done nothing that requires forgiveness.

How we handle death is as important as how we choose to live. As I chose to go through the door of divorce, looking to the past that choice that door is now a wall. I hope one day that my children can forgive me for the lies I was living. Death is having no ability to check in to watch to touch base to interject to add a little spice to go back and visit. I will ultimately die knowing that I loved my children to the best of my ability, and I finally came to a place in life where I could love myself, including my differences and my disability.

My children I pray one day you can forgive me. Please know that you have done nothing that requires forgiveness, remember I will always love you. Dad

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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