Hurting people have a mist that surrounds them. Most do not see it. My father has a black mist, like a cloud, that covers him at all times, like a shroud. It is his death shroud, although he has yet to die. Mother does not see it and so I have chosen not to mention it to her. She is aware that I know more than I tell her. She is aware of my gifts. The spirits tell me I should think of my abilities as such. Mother senses his deep hurt, however, and would like me to cure him but knows that I do not have that power. I am only able to ease his suffering from time to time and I have tried to as often as possible.
I have visions and they show me what it is that causes his pain. He is desperate and wishes to end his life. I am helpless to do more than temporarily relieve this thought from his mind. Mother is not able to reach him as I can and she does not see what lies behind his eyes. I see what lies behind his eyes, in the depths, so to speak. They lead to his soul and the ugliness he carries within himself. His soul is fractured like a mirror that has shattered into pieces and the shards are anger, pain, loneliness, despair and guilt.
I have no memory of the father he was before this, before he left for the war. I know only what my brother Colin tells me about the time when I was an infant, of how he would hold me and sing to me, and his fear of not seeing me grow up. Sometimes, I will see shadows of what he used to be, when he is thinking about those days, but most times I see only a sick hurting man that stands before me carrying his pain as if it were a yoke, like those used by our oxen. It is a heavy weight. The things Father has seen, and the events of his life during and since the war have left him bereft. He came back to us a broken shell of a man. I cannot fix him.
Father is broken.