This Sunday will be my fourth Father’s day without my Dad. I am approaching this day with dread and gratitude in equal measure…as time goes by the gut wrenching pain and heart ache is still palpable just as it is indescribable yet I go on where who knows and why, well that is another question in itself!

There is this acute hole in my being well in my soul and in my heart even though I feel and know that my father has not really left me at all. It is getting used to his physical absence and so much more. Sometimes the pain hits you right at the core of your being, I can be anywhere, at work, at home, walking, watching the T.V. or even looking at the sky. It just comes and knocks me off my track and there I go again. In a place where I do not want to be but glad I can still visit it sometimes…. I sense a wobble and depending on where I am and what I am supposed to be doing I compose myself then carry on.

I do have many a good days when I feel on top of the world because I know I was the lucky one to have had the joy and love of such a great man whom I call my Dad. Yes, I had the privilege of walking to the top of the summit with him. I loved him so much and he loved me it sounds like that has changed it hasn’t but I sometimes have to remind myself of the times when we were actually together in one room having a discussion on a fascinating subject then concluding what a joy it was to share our thoughts with one another. We got each other completely and I so miss that feeling!

I was wondering what he would have made of the recent election results and the outcome of a hung parliament. He was a visionary ahead of his time when I compare his thinking to mine. He was old enough to remember seeing the first motor vehicle arrive in his home town and young enough at the age of 95 to tell me to expand the screen on my smart phone so he could see a picture clearly! yes, that was my father and I am so proud of that fact.

I tell myself to focus on the glass half full school of thought but sometimes try as I may that heaviness is there which I can’t shake off. After a while you stop sharing how you feel because it is hard for most to understand. I am fortunate I still have a handful of people in my life who do get it. But I am my worst critic I wonder if I am self indulgent or wallowing in my grief but really I am not. I think perhaps what I feel would have been so much easier to manage if I had not been so blessed. Parents die, that is the natural order of things and children move on. Shouldn’t I too?

There are moments I really miss him. I took the day off to watch the election results unfold I missed him so terribly then because we both would normally listen to the election results on radio 4 all night. I so wanted to sit with him but he wasn’t there. Then yesterday my neighbour said I was a chip off the old block. That was so nice to hear but I wanted him to be present and to see the pride on my face.

Then there are random moments like walking into work I visualise him walking next to me on my left side because on the odd occasion we did walk together, a. my Dad was a fast walker and I was always playing catch up and b. he always insisted on walking by the side of the road. His way of protecting me. Then it dawns on me that I am in fact walking alone he is not here anymore.

Two weeks ago I completed the Yorkshire three peaks it was a big deal to me I walked into the house wanted to shout and tell him of my achievement but he wasn’t there. The tears of joy or sadness still roll down my face not as often as before but it still happens when I least expect and there’s me thinking I am the Queen of Grief! I found myself looking for the Union Jack which I knew my Dad had in the Study. I wanted it to use it at the World Triathalon last Sunday. It hit me how organised he kept the study and the filing cabinet. Everything is meticulously filed and stored in the right place and I wonder why I cannot be more like him!

I know it is only 3 years, 5 months and 13 days since he died but he is still a huge part of my world. Without him I am lost but in a strange way I am slowly finding myself.

This year I have not made any plans to mark Father’s day though I have been aware of its arrival for some time. It’s as though I feel paralysed in grief. Sounds heavy and sad I know but it is what it is.

I know exactly how I marked the last 3 father’s day and I am not sure I can surpass what I did last year when I had a tattoo done on my left arm but this year I hope if I get through this day in tact without losing sight of the good things in my life and there are many I will have done okay. I am surrounded by some lovely kind souls some are my close friends, some are my colleagues and some are complete strangers. They help me carry on. Perhaps there is no miracle cure and no right or wrong. We all just have to help each other muddle along and get by!

To anyone out there reading this blog if you are a Dad or you have a Dad make the most of your time with your loved ones. It is the memories we create in our living world that helps those left behind. Don’t miss out on the chance of telling your Dad how much you love him and appreciate his presence in your life I tell you I would do anything to do just that right now.

Copyright. DMP 13.6.17