I realise now when talking to people they often think my Dad past last year or a few months ago so when I say it was 5 years ago there is this noticeable silence which I read as that long ago and you are still grieving?? Of course this could be my perception and not theirs.
So I have decided I don’t want to ever get over my father’s death. No I am not wallowing nor am I stuck. I am fine and am not looking for sympathy either this is just an honest reflection. A lot of folk think after a few months or may be a year or two we should have been healed. So what does healing actually mean ? Complete recovery and normality. Or does it mean you need to hide how you feel or worse still apologise for missing your loved one after five years?
I remember on day 13, the day after my father’s funeral I hit the grief rock. My heart was bleeding and there was this massive sense of incompleteness, a sort of haemorrhage where you literally think I am not going to survive this heartbreak. After 5 years I still miss my Dad. I drink freshly made juice and regret not making this often enough for my Dad though we had the juicer back then. I find a new recipe and think it why did I not make this for Dad he would have liked it too. I hear the birds singing and have this overwhelming desire to say Dado can you hear that? I hear a song come on the radio and I want to hold his hand and dance but can’t… I wake up in the middle of the night and think how he and I would have enjoyed a bowl of cornflakes at the crack of dawn.. you know all those silly things, significant yet not so trivial things which matter to me. The shocking thing is these things still happen in my daily life. I guess it is the measure of the impact he had on my life.
It can feel raw. Surprisingly, I found the fifth death anniversary harder than the ones before. Christmas was equally harder this time too. No, this is not a relapse of grief this is a realisation that he will always play a big part in my life. The fact is five years later, I can see clearly that my world had changed for good when he died; that there is still this massive hole which will always remain open. A big wide gaping hole which I know is there but others can’t see.
Hardly a day goes by when I do not remember him. I hear some music which I think he would have liked or see the House of Commons debate and I think he would have had a witty observation about the Brexit deal and present state of affairs. Bottom line, my Dad is there during my 24 hours, even at busy times, happy times and disappointing times. And you know what I am happy he is in my thoughts and imagination.
They say we must live our lives so when we are no more we are missed. Well, my Dad left a space that will never be filled. It is not a sad emptiness but a soft emptiness. It’s as though he carefully chiselled the edges of that hole into my life. His place in my life is immeasurable and erasable.
Losing a father is not an injury from which you can be healed or a scar that can fade in time. His absence I shall feel forever which I consider to be a good thing.
Since my Dad’s death I have become so aware of my own mortality so much so that I pretty much do what pleases me. Sounds selfish but I would call it being true to me. I had to laugh the other day when I was driving back home from a friend’s house when a song by ultra nate came on “You’re free to do want you want to do” followed by Bruno mars uptown funk then My sweet Lord by George Harrison. Honestly, three brilliant songs in a row, I thought thanks Pops you’re talking to me through these carefully chosen songs, thank you, thank you and thank you for being with me. Now that I am relaxed about his physical death he really is just a thought away.
I like to end my blog on a positive note because I want those out there to know that you will do more than survive this maze of grief just as I did. This morning I did a podcast on grief and mental wellness. It helped because the interviewer made it effortless but I honestly don’t think I would’ve been capable of doing before now. So my friend if you are on this journey give yourself permission to grieve. Don’t apologise for how you feel but embrace the hurting you. Be kind to you and honour this loss by living life on your terms.
“Tears water our growth” William Shakespeare.
And I can’t resist this quote by my favourite writer and poet …“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Peace be with you.