A year. A whole year. It’s beyond belief, because in my heart he died a week ago. It’s still that raw, that painful.

But it’s a century since I’ve seen him. I’m forgetting his smell, his voice. That’s the sad part.

Today we visited the crematorium and laid a wreath. I felt nothing. Numb. Blank.

We then went to the hospital. For a year I’ve thought about what I’d give, what I’d write in the thank you cards. But I couldn’t face it.

Today, one year on, I knew I must.

It was like a time warp. Like I’d travelled back in time. Memories flooded; familiarity stimulated my heart. The sound of my footsteps on the stairs. The noise of the canteen. The smell of the corridors.

We saw the nurses who still fondly remembered our dad. We handed over the cards and gifts, emotions boiling under the surface. I remained calm, said what I needed to, and left as soon as I could.

Entering that ward, I felt like I was visiting him again. He was just in a side room, waiting for me, wondering where I had been and so grateful I’d arrived. A year disappeared in a heartbeat and my Dad was still alive.

As we left the ward, hearts over brimming with grief, I also felt a sense of pride. Dad would be so happy and proud of us for facing that, for passing on his gratitude. For handing over his beautiful hand carved ornaments, the last we own, to say thanks for his care. I felt his pride in my heart and I knew we had done the right thing even though grief was ripping through my body.

And so, it’s been a year. The hardest of my life.

I miss him every day. I wish for him every day. But I have a new kind of normal, one that misses him each day and feels his absence. The next stage of grief, I suppose.

I’m sending my love out to all those who are grieving. God bless you.


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