Four years on since my father’s death I know I have done really well to survive but sometimes when I least expect grief knocks on the door of my soul and hits me sideways.

The other day while travelling on the train I had a shaky moment when I saw a gentleman wearing a dark grey winter coat just like the one my Dad had. I had a wobble than I gathered myself, well what choice do I actually have?

I thought wrongly that I understand all there is to grief. After all it has been my companion for the past few years. Yes, another one of my I know it all I will be fine phases. Truth is each day I learn something new.

So I turn to those who are better placed than I to define what grief is..

“Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you,smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,sweeps you up into its darkness,where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces,only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped…Grief will make a new person out of you,if it doesn’t kill you in the making.” Stephanie Ericsson

Bereavement is the deepest initiation into the mysteries of human life, an initiation more searching and profound than even happy love. – Dean Inge

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. – Thich Nhat Hanh

From my very short journey I know this much. Love and grief go hand in hand just like day and night. If we are blessed to have loved someone so deeply and they us then it is inevitable that their physical absence will cause sorrow and pain. Coming to terms with the death of a loved one or as some will say rather harshly ‘moving on’ is a process. I do not believe it is possible to move on but I do feel we have a choice to move forward and do so with some gratitude and dignity. If we do not succumb to the sorrow of grief and keep living it is a fitting tribute to the love we share.

Something deep drives me to keep moving forward that is not linked to power, money, ego or vanity it is the fact that I am my father’s daughter and I want him to be proud of me still.

The quote below from Maya Angelou is how I feel right now..

“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”….and I would add some panache !

I hope this gives some hope to anyone out there reading this blog please don’t give up you have to believe the sun will shine again.   Travel this journey at your pace. This is one journey we cannot be prescriptive about.