Almost five years…

Seemingly a milestone of sort. To me the time since my dad’s passing has been painstakingly slow. My world turned upside down when I became an orphan. Grief affects us all in different ways.

0n 16th December 2013 my Dad and I went for our last long drive together. Just me and him the formidable father daughter duo. I was driving Dad was sat in the passenger seat. Both of us grateful to be in each other’s company. My dad though by now incredibly frail would still say yes to my demands of going for a drive. That was the last time he left home alive. Now I remember that as if it was yesterday.

Almost five years on I have noticed if I have to brake suddenly my left hand goes out as if to protect him in the passenger seat. I am always surprised when this happens because by now I should have got used to my Dad not being in the car!

Ever since his death December has not been a month I look forward to. Some grief experts will say the normal grieving period is 12 to 18-months. He was and still is the person I love the most. I owe all I am today to him so it is hard to not feel his absence but despite his death his presence in my life is constant. I have not stopped talking to him or telling him how my day went only difference is I don’t hear his voice and I don’t hear him call out my name. I still have my Dad’s mobile number on my mobile and when I feel really down I send a message knowing full well he is not going to reply!

The five years have forced me to re evaluate my life. I started the journey totally unsure if I would get to even the end of year one. Along the way I have set tiny goals to give me focus and a reason to make life meaningful. If life with my Dad was like walking to the summit of the tallest mountain life after him has been like is going downwards with a view to climbing another summit, well at least I hope to before I die.

Grief has the power to strangle your very being but it also has the power to transform your life. My father’s love for me was unconditional. He is irreplaceable and the void I feel even now is unlikely to diminish, it just is.

I’ve learnt even when we are finding ourselves we can feel better by reaching out to others. But the truth is that it is actually others who help us to keep taking the next step. Imagine learning to walk again. You need patience and you need to make an effort but you also need to be kind to yourself. An army of angels will walk into your life and slowly but surely you will learn to find your bearings in my case with a bit of help from my friends.  I cannot thank enough all those who have walked into my life since my father’s death to help me through this maze. Often these are strangers and friends.  Yet this is like a long long run. A solitary journey you have to go at your own pace stop when you need to catch your breath and keep going when you have a sudden burst of energy.  You honestly don’t know if you will make the finishing line but you are grateful for all those on the side spurring you on.

If you are on this journey accept this pain with grace it is healthy to grieve. Don’t apologize for how you feel because its normal to be broken. Grief cracks you open and it makes you vulnerable. That too is normal. If you love deeply you will hurt deeply, that’s the deal. So accept it and feel the full brunt of this painful journey. Be proud of your connection with your loved one those who feel no loss probably weren’t lucky to have experienced the magnificence of a loving relationship.

I read a letter from a well known celebrity who wrote about his take on grief following the death of his teenage son. He said something about reawakening after the calamity. He spoke about the impossible and unspeakable pain that has the potential for a better now leaving us unimaginably changed.

Of course my Dad lived a long life yet I feel I have been through the tumble dryer. Bashed and battered but here I am seemingly looking intact.  December is still not my favourite month. I struggle yes even now with a mix sense of immense gratitude tinged with this sadness of not having my Dad waiting for me to come home.  I am selfish if I continue to grieve as I am mourning my own loss. For my Dad his death came in a timely manner so I feel happy that he is free.

Thinking of my Dad I have decorated our live Christmas tree in the front of our home as he always wanted to give passing motorists a reason to smile.  It took effort because I was not in the mood. I feel melancholy.    As always I would like to end this post on a positive note if only because I really do believe that when we do find ourselves digging deep to find us we do find the courage to rise and rise we must as this is the best tribute we can give to the person we love and lost.

I will end this post with the poem I read at my father’s funeral  and despite the passage of time and the change I have endured my sentiments remain the same.

I thank the poet because these words resonate with my soul.

If you are going through a similar journey I wish you well for the new year and hope you find the strength to keep going.

Peace be with you.


21st December 2018



The Gift God Gave Me Was You -by Lea Gomez

I will never say goodbye to you, my father,
because I know this is not the end for us to see each other.
You will only be going to a place where there’s no pain suffering.
I am happy for you, for you will be with God.
For now we need to go in separate ways.
I remember how your arms hold me and give me strength.
You were always there to listen, love, and defend me in everything.
You were my very best friend.
In my triumphs you were always proud.
I’m very grateful and proud to call you my dad.
Here, deep inside my heart you’ll always be.
I would give up everything I have just to hug you one more time.
I remember the last time I held your hand and how you looked at me in the eyes.
If only I could turn back the time I would have never let you go.
I felt the world stop and my heart stop beating when they told me you were gone.
How I wish I were only dreaming.
Just like the rain, tears fell down from my eyes; I couldn’t speak for awhile.
Thank you, Dad,
For always understanding, listening, caring, and loving me your whole life.
The greatest gift God gave me was YOU…my dad
It’s difficult to let you go, but I must.
I must return the gift God gave me.