Since my dear Dad left his physical presence I have had to deal with a whole host of issues. Practical, legal and of course emotional. To say I miss my Pa is really an understatement. How my life has changed only I know. I miss discussing and consulting things with him. I miss his guidance and most of all I miss his presence.

I never realised that despite being a fairly competent being I was until he died my Daddy’s little girl. Sounds odd because I am professional, a successful lawyer, an independent woman capable of managing a department and capable of dealing with almost anything.

This grief journey has made me question who I am. Each day goes by and I learn something new about me, about my Dad and about how unique our relationship was and still is.

I remember 13 days after Dad died I found myself totally alone in the house and in this world. In fact I became alone the day he died. A wave of emotions came over me it was as though I was going out of my mind. I was scared I was going crazy. First time in my life I cried like a baby. Just when I needed my Dad the most all I was left with was his photo and memories.

I felt and still do a profound sense of loss so deep that first time I understood I had a broken heart. Part of me died the day he died. The many roles I was performing as his daughter, carer, his protector had gone just in one blow.

Death is severe it is so final yet it is part of life. My life turned 360° totally up side down. Thinking of ways to answer the question how are you, a question I dreaded, I started by saying I am devasted I have lost the most important person in my life to saying my life is work in progress!  My answer would vary depending on who was asking.

I started to read up on grief. I read many books the one that stands out is by C.S. Lewis, a grief observed. I searched on line for validation that I was not going out of my mind. That I was not overacting. I hated it when my loss was seen as insignificant because my Dad had lived a good long life.  Now I realise letting go and giving myself permission to grieve was the the right thing to do but it is still work in progress.

Today, I bumped into an old acquaintance. In a very well meaning way he asked how long will it take for me to recover? I have learnt now not to be offended by such questions. I politely replied. I will never get over my father’s death and I don’t want to get over his death. I said it may take 3 to 5 years before I can ‘stand up’ again! The honest answer is I really don’t know. Just when I feel I am turning a page I go back to day 13.

In this journey I have learnt to recognise the signs and moments when I am moderately co oping to when I am hitting really low. I have learnt to always acknowledge that most people don’t know what to say or indeed how to say the right thing but that they are well meaning folk trying their best to comfort you.

I am still learning and I guess I am trying to grow up! The fact is I am an orphan. This  reality is hard to accept. Most people think only children who have lost their parents can be called orphans, not so in my book.

As I write this blog in the middle of the night yet another sleepless night I am in the midst of this turbulent grief journey post eight months. Most people look at me and think I am the same as I was before Dad died. Yes, I look intact but inside I broken to bits. Doing a lot of things simultaneously, growing up and trying to put the broken pieces in some sort of order. I am not sure I can put the pieces back togethet but try I must for Pa’s sake and for mine.

Peace be with you.
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