I am close to the fourth anniversary of my father’s death. It is 3 years, 10 months and 28 days to be precise since he died. I look at myself and I am amazed I am here still and that too in one piece.

If I could I would remove the month of December from the calendar for my own selfish reasons as I still find it hard to engage in the seasonal festivities. The thought of putting the Christmas tree up and the sight of Christmas trees in the malls feel like an irritant. I mean I still cannot go to M & S and if I did go I would avoid walking past the men’s department as this would be a reminder of the many things I can no longer buy for my Dad. The sound of Christmas songs and the hustle and bustle of Christmas shoppers all still provoke a very intense feeling in me so much so that I just want to disappear from the land of living…

Last weekend I found myself going over my journals and in particular the notes I made just before my father passing and just after. As I read them I felt sad that I was so heartbroken, desolate and bereft. I have never been one to be pitiful and neither was my father. We just got on with things but losing my Dad cracked me open completely. At one stage I had noted that I was like a vase broken into a million pieces and hard to put back. I have been put back in a manner of speaking. To the outside world I do look the same but to me I hardly recognise me. Here I am about to attempt my first full London Marathon something I would not have contemplated ever before. The rebuilding of me is something that took me by surprise but I am very proud that I managed to put myself together albeit with inner scars but there is more work to be done for sure. Though it has been tough I would not change a thing.

Inside I still feel broken but outwards I have  moved forward but when I look at myself I do not recognise this ‘new’ me. Adversity and suffering in many way makes us more grateful for what we have. I am deeply grateful to all those who have been on my side supporting me and encouraging me along the way. Yes, the last 3 years and 10 months have been like a long full marathon. Hard work and at times impossible not to mention very exhausting but I am getting there. I would probably say I am 25% into the 26.2 miles journey.

While I am grateful for everything and everyone in my life and I am very aware of how blessed I am I still miss my father so so much. I miss our long conversations I miss his smiling face and I miss his approvals and disapprovals..I know he would be very proud of me in how I have conducted myself since his death.  He always said he had complete faith in my abilities but while before his death I was super confident that I would manage life after my Dad’s death that notion went out of the window as I crumbled to pieces.  So what  the last 3 years and 10 months has taught me is that I should not believe  I know everything about me.  I have seen my most vulnerable side and I  have seen my resilient side.  Funny really we are quick to judge others but how can we get it so wrong about ourselves perhaps because we are ill equipped to deal with death and also because we do not know the magnitude of  our loss until it is too late.

I know it is not yet December and I sense a wobble so I expect some turbulence ahead. I am having to remind myself that as invincible as I am I cannot shed the heaviness all the time. I have come a long way but grief is just a reminder of the depth of our love.  I love my father and I have proved it to myself that I am through and through my father’s daughter.  I do not need pity just the opportunity to reflect and feel the loss of my father and the experience I have been through over the last four years.

Thank you for reading this blog. If I can offer some comfort to anyone out there on a similar journey it is just this. Trust yourself and do what feels right the rest will come together for we are far stronger than we think we are.

Peace be with you.

Copyright DMP 27.11.17.