How Dwayne Johnson Deals With Not Being Able to Say Goodbye to His Father
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a well-known celebrity worldwide as one of the most successful entertainers in Hollywood history. Johnson has walked a difficult path and pushed hard to reach this point, with his family by his side every step of the way. He has always looked to his father as an example for his career in professional wrestling. Still, in their personal lives, they had a rocky connection that they reinforced and improved upon over time until Dwayne’s father’s final moments.
For most of his childhood, his father was absent.
How we grow up can shape the person we are today. As a kid, Dwayne Johnson had never taken anything for granted but endured difficulties that a child should not experience, like when his family lost their jobs and couldn’t pay rent. It was a trying period for the Johnsons.
By the time he was 13, he had lived in 13 different states, and by the time he was 17, he had encountered several legal issues. Throughout his adolescence, Dwayne Johnson was coached by a team of legendary, rugged wrestlers, including his father, Rocky Johnson.
“The Rock” uncovers the terrible reality of growing up in a wrestling household in terms of the impact on interpersonal relationships and family dynamics. Rocky, Dwayne’s father, constantly relocated in pursuit of work, whether it be across the nation or only 5 miles away.
Little Dwayne went along with the expectation that they would eventually strike gold and be able to build long-term stability in one of those locations. This, unfortunately, didn’t happen, and it irreversibly shaped his relationship with his father.
“My dad was kicked out of his house at 13, and he was homeless, so that then shaped the man who then raised me,” admitted Dwayne. Rocky, his father, had a hard childhood that, in some way, prompted him to raise his child strictly and rigorously. Consequently, Dwayne and his father grew to have a stern and harsh relationship.
Dwayne admired his father, but their bond was complicated.
As he takes a trip down memory lane, Dwayne has consistently said that this connection with Rocky had been “complex.” His father was a man of definite rules and discipline, as is required while competing in wrestling bouts for a living, but he treated his son with the same coldness and severity that was “motivated by tough love.”
“My father was a superhero to me,” Dwayne remarked of his late father. “Sometimes, growing up around wrestlers teaches you lessons in exciting ways.”
Growing up, “The Rock” didn’t have many opportunities to make money, so he asked his father to put him through wrestling training. He had looked up to his father, but as their relationship deteriorated over time, he lost that admiration. The actor revealed, “The irony is I idolized my dad as a boy, and obviously, that idealization started to wane over the years. But the older I got, and the more experienced I got, the more I could appreciate his love for me in that limited capacity.”
Coping with the grief of losing his dad
Although the connection became stronger over time, it “would never get easy.” Consequently, Dwayne needed to adjust his viewpoint and rediscover how to love his dad. He knew that they wouldn’t live apart forever just because his old guy hurt him in the past. He forced himself to look for a glimmer of brightness and admit that, despite everything, Rocky was his father and the person who reared him.
“Some of the things and the lessons that I learned from my old man, I didn’t realize how critical those lessons were until years later,” Dwayne said.
Rocky Johnson passed away on January 15, 2020, and it was a bolt from the blue for Dwayne. At the moment of his passing, the father and son were in a conflicting situation, the outcome of an argument they had a while before. “You know, when we lose loved ones like that, we have to go through our own process,” the actor explained.
“But when my dad passed away, you look back, and I know a lot of people feel this way too, it’s that wild thing that happens where in life if you have a complicated, loving relationship like I did with my dad, then in death and in passing, in this wild way, you actually become closer.”
After their bitter argument, Dwayne Johnson could not say goodbye to his father and didn’t necessarily find solace since then. He would do “everything right now to give him a big ole hug and a big ole kiss before he crossed over and just say thank you, and I love you, and I respect you.”
Even if Dwayne’s tumultuous connection with Rocky appears harsh and severe, the actor will always treasure the moments he spent with him since it is all he will remember for the rest of his life.