In three months time it will be four years. The beginning of autumn and the early dark evenings is a reminder that I am approaching the fourth death anniversary. It’s heavy.

Somebody asked why I was not attending to a matter that would save me money and I blurted out that I was just getting by with life I haven’t got the energy. It is hard perhaps to see but it is so exhausting living without my Dad I just do what I must in order to get by on a day to day basis. I only know on reflection how much effort I have to make to put on a near normal appearance in every aspect of my life. I have become so good at faking it that even I don’t recognise the effort I am making most of the times so I can hardly expect that of others.

As I approach this day yet another anniversary memories of the end come flooding back. It doesn’t seem like four years in fact I’ve never been so aware and present in my life as I have been since my father’s death. Though, I always feel grateful for the life that I have and the experiences this undoubtedly has been the toughest my of my life journey for sure.

I often wonder how amazing others are when coping with the loss of a significant person in their life. It is a silent and very private journey. You only open up to those you trust will understand or genuinely care about you.

Grief is a teacher of our own strength and is a shocking awakening reminder almost like the blow of a blunt knife of our own fragility, frailty and vulnerability. You go from being this ‘always strong’person to my gosh she’s still grieving..

I only speak of my experience and I know many have been through so much more but can we ever compare? Surely not. Our grief and our experience of loss is as unique as our relationship with our loved one. Of course added to that is our own personality, perspective and uniqueness than there are what we perceive the expectations. The only expectations we need to manage is our own.

When we see someone with a broken leg immediately we feel sympathy. Well, this is a broken heart we must be gentle and kind to our soul.

My mind was in agony thinking about those parents whose children were buried when a school collapsed in Mexico city following the earthquake. Their pain doesn’t bear thinking about. I have learnt when we have no words that can soothe an aching heart a glance of understanding is better. A slight human touch on the shoulder is better than no acknowledgement of their loss.

Even amidst family members the grieving is made worse when others don’t acknowledge the loss felt by the person most affected. It happens but it is not alright. It is not acceptable. Yes death is universal but it is not unversally understood. So what’s new!

Sometimes I just want to curl up in bed and not wake up to face another day of having to make an effort. That feeling doesn’t last very long. If we are alive it is a blessing and each moment of our existence is in my humble opinion a gift from God. Also, I am glad for this experience even though it can be exhausting at times.

Amidst this I still feel blessed. I want to end on a positive note as even in our darkest moments there’s something to be grateful about. Victor Frankl, a professor of neurology and pyschiatry who spent three years in Auschwitz and other concentration camps wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning that even in the depth of great despair and hopelessness it is possible to find a reason to be grateful for. The great challenge for man is to find meaning in his or her life. Acoording to him this meaning can come from either work, doing something meaningful, in love that is caring for another and in courage in difficult times. He says you cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you. In short, we always have the free will to choose how we respond to a given situation that is not something anyone can take away from us.

I still live hoping my father will be proud of me. Though, he is not on planet earth it still matters to me what he thinks of me and how I make him feel. Hard to understand my logic how can he think when he’s dead but if we believe the soul is eternal then it follows our connection is not severed by death.

So to anyone out there for the sake of your loved one be it your mum, Dad, partner, husband, wife, child or sibling don’t give up and don’t give on and make them proud.

Peace be with you.

Copyright. DMP 25th September 2017