Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A FATHER'S PASSING: FIVE MONTHS LATER


Five months ago, my beautiful, amazing father passed over to the other side and left this planet. I have learned a lot since then and I have lived a lot too. The funny thing about death is; it makes you live. It makes you live your life because it highlights how temporary it actually is. My dad is constantly in my thoughts, I'm always talking about him and my heart will miss him forever, but five months later, I thought I would write how I am feeling because, writing is therapeutic and if it's out there, then it may help someone else...

I have learned that grief is not what you expect it to be, well it is not what I expected it to be anyway. It isn't a constant deep dark hole like I imagined, it isn't a process and it doesn't go in a line. Grief comes in waves - some knock you for six and others just mildly cause you some discomfort. I have had my ups and my downs with grief so far - I have been so low that I just want to die and join my Dad wherever he has gone and so high that I have done a lot of living for the both of us and just known I was on the right path. I try to focus on the highs; him living through me, and me living in his honour. 

There are so many things I wish I could tell him. Like the fact I got a new job as an interpreter and then as an English teacher, the fact that I came abroad to teach and become an ESOL teacher like he had always wanted, the fact I now tutor his friend's grandchildren, the fact that I was accepted onto a S&L course at a prestigious university, the fact I have been on lots more travels, that I am okay on my own and that I am living a life he would have been proud of.

I would love for him to know that Riley and I have been to lots of new and fun places. I would love for him to know that my sister Laura and I are closer than ever. I would mostly just love to tell him that I love him just as much now as I always have and that I miss him more than I even thought possible.

I gave him a book full of thank yous' before he passed away, with all of our memories and the things I felt grateful we had shared. I want to add to that book every day and I'd love to tell him thank you for picking me up from school every single day when I was younger, I would tell him thank you for all the thoughtful gifts he bought me like my personalised Christmas story books and my beanie babies, I'd say thank you for all the things you made me, I would say thank you for all the beautiful qualities he instilled in me just by being himself...  

The thing is; when you loose someone who has played such a profound role in your life, you begin to remember and cherish all the little things they did for you. It's bitter sweet but I am so grateful I had someone who loved me that much and someone I love this much in return. I am so thankful for the father I had and the childhood he gave me. I am grateful for all he did for me and I am grateful that he indirectly taught me how to live with a grateful heart through me sharing his journey with him.

I wish I could talk to him about all of the feelings I am feeling, he was always the first one I would go to. Even if he gave me the bluntest advice I wasn't ready to hear, he was real and raw and I miss that. I wish I could tell him that I lead a positive life full of happiness, but I also wish I could tell him that I get scared sometimes too.

When I get that sinking empty feeling he described to me, or when I feel like he isn't here with me, I feel fear - an emotion I try not to operate by. I also get scared that the grief will get worse and it hasn't set in fully yet. I'm too scared to get close to someone and have children now because I am scared of one of us dying and I absolutely hate the thought of living a long life without my Pa. I always imagined he would be there for all the important bits, but I need to remember what he's end of life journey taught me - that the now is all we really have, so we must live in it.

Six months has made me process that he is actually gone but I am still very much waiting around for the grief to hit me worse as it has been coming in random bursts. I promised myself when he first died that I wouldn't go out and get drunk all the time but I did and it helped heal me in some ways. Nothing you do in the grieving process is wrong - it's all a part of the rocky road of grief. I've had my lows where I've cried like I did at his funeral, and I've had my days where I haven't had to feel the crippling belly pangs and negative feelings that wash over your entire body. I think of him every day, and that comforts me. Never shut down someone talking about a lost loved one they are missing - it doesn't hurt; it helps.

I have this deep ache in my heart when I just know I'll never see him again in this life. I got to the stage of wanting to trade my soul for a warm daddy-daughter cuddle at around two months. I'd do anything to see his cheeky grin, kiss him on the cheek and give him a long, heartfelt squeeze. I do sometimes take my mind back to our last cuddles together and it fills me with complete love, so I still very much grateful that I got the chance to say goodbye. However, I'll just never stop missing those cuddles.

'Time heals all wounds' has to be the shittest quote anyone could EVER use when it comes to grieving the death of a loved one. Time heals all wounds after you've been heart broken by some monsterous prick of a man - yes, because you later realise you deserved much better anyway. Time heals wounds when it comes to being rejected from University or a job you wanted BUT time does NOT heal ALL wounds. There are some wounds that will never fully heal and you just have to learn how to move around and live with them as part of you and that's that. I will never, ever, ever be fully healed from losing my Dad, especially so early on in life and that's okay - it's all a part of my journey here in this life and I have to learn to cope and that in itself with shape my soul and guide me through the path I was always meant to take.

I am writing this to assure you that if you are losing someone or have lost someone - then anything you are feeling is okay. You're right to have any of the feelings you do and don't be hard on yourself. Be your own best friend and try to live your life as though you are living for the both of you now. Focus on the positive and beautiful things in this life and accept that it's not all made up of that. There is a ying and a yang to everything. A dark and a light to anything and the whole thing is all about balance. 

I wrote a poem for my Dad in his cards every birthday, Christmas and Father's days so I thought I would do the same on here today:

Dear Daddy,

Six months have passed since you've been gone,
Not a day passes without it feeling anything but wrong,
I miss you more and more, with each day that passes,
I miss seeing your cute smile, and those sparkling eyes behind your glasses,
What you did for me and all you've said will never get old,
For in my heart, and my memory I will always hold...
All that you've taught me, and all the love you had shown
I just wish you would have been here to see how much I've grown,
You're a kindred spirit to my soul,
I couldn't say half, because your soul was nothing but a whole,
I'll think of you come rain, snow or sunshine,
your laughter, your voice, your humour and advice I'll always pine,
but I know I'll be strong because you were here to be my Dad and my best friend,
And an influence like that, I will carry to the end.
I suppose you could describe you and I both as plucky,
because to have had you as a father, living or lost - I don't feel anything less than lucky,

I love you Popsicle, wherever in this universe you may be.


Always and Forever,
Your little girl,
Your Lisamarie

xxx
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