These were the first words that came to me as I sat down this morning in the garden with my cup of tea. It rained last night so the day began with a freshness that you see when all the trees and plants are lush and watered. The air is fresh and first thing in the morning the birds are twittering away. Whatever they are saying to one another who knows but it sounds comforting to the ear and heart.
In our back garden we have a hammock which my dad used to like sitting on. As I sat down holding my mug of chai, my heart said, what is missing is you, everything else is here. I am referring of course to my dad, my world is so perfect but there is a big chunk of me that is missing it is as though part of me has died. I walk around with an invisible gaping bit missing in me, like a hole in my body which makes the whole me. The hole is there but is comfortable with the rest of me. In that hole there is a bright light that is my power. It gives me the power to keep going, and I say to myself, I will get through this, indeed I have done so, but sometimes, just sometimes, there is a sadness I feel that reminds me that I want to share this beautiful morning with my father. However, I think he knows.
A while back in a radio interview I was asked if my father’s death has defined me, I said no at the time but looking back, I believe his very presence in my world has defined the person I am. His death was a catalyst of me finding me, a person I did not know was there. My many accomplishments since my father’s death which I engaged in to ‘pass time’ until I found my purpose are activities I never thought I was capable of, like running a few marathons, walking on hot coal, and getting a tattoo, to name a few of my crazy experiments with life. Okay, grief breaks us open and we find a way to keep going, but in time we realise we are more than the ‘broken’ person we thought we were. The hole makes us WHOLE.
Sometimes a key person in our life who was our guide and mentor is no more, then we have to reconfigure our road map and find a way to continue. At the start of this turbulent wave, many thoughts cross my mind. Words like, I am going through grief alone nobody understands me. I need someone to guide me, and I don’t know what to do next.. and so on. Often what we need is someone to listen to us as we break and someone who will not judge us until we figure out our next move. I remember in the early days after my dad passed, there was one person who gave me a safe space, and in time working my way through my grief I began to realise there were a few right people out there whose support would get me to a place where I can see a purpose and joy to live for. Many kind people walked into my journey at the right time and each one of them made a contribution which allowed me to stand up again. Over the years I have worked with a bereavement counsellor, an Executive career Coach, a sports therapist, and my running Coach, all of these people along with my tiny army of soul friends, formed a supportive base, and that helped me enormously. I faced my fears head on and within a safe space I was able to find a new reason to live, and not just live but live with a smiling heart.
To anyone out there who feels lost, alone and in need of someone to help them find their silent power, find those people who will support you. If you have friends and family who understand your journey then that is great but do ask for professional support when you need and don’t suffer alone.
I am an Executive Coach, lawyer and author, as well as my father’s proud daughter. As a Coach I feel having dug myself out of hole from the valley of grief, I can help those who are going through crisis. A crisis can occur from the loss of someone significant in our lives, or the loss of a career that once gave us joy, or an unexpected change of events, such as relationship break up. Even if a big part of us is missing, you’ll be surprised how you can find a reason to live. I went through all of this as many do, but in my case my father was my family, so it took a bit more effort to dig me out of my grief and hopelessness.
Coming back to my opening line when I say what is missing is you this line can have more than one meaning. In my case what is missing is my dad, but in reality what is missing is us, our life together, and when occasionally, I miss my dad what I am actually missing, is me, and that is okay too.
Peace be with you. If you or someone you know is going through a journey where a part of them has died I humbly suggest tap into professional help. If you would like to have an informal conversation to see if I am the right person to help please get in touch. You have nothing to lose and neither have I because by talking we can often find another way that might, just might, propel us to find the missing mojo again.
Peace be with you.
3rd May 2022.