I have done well today. No tears until an hour ago. I want to think that is an achievement of some sorts.
Today would have been my dad’s 81st birthday. He died nearly three years ago.
I’m going to state a rather blunt fact.
I am not envious of people my age who still have their parents. Good for them. And besides, their dad is not my dad.
No, I envy them because they haven’t felt this. They have no idea, no comprehension of what this is.
My Dad’s illness and death broke me. I know that. And when I got put back together, I wasn’t the same – a bit like a broken teacup. I might look roughly the same but I am not and never will be. I don’t work the same. I’m weaker, more fragile.
Time will heal. Sure. This is kind of true. Time has taught me to go about my day to day life. It has shown me how to carry on, put one foot in front of another. Eventually, you learn not to cry every day.
The pain though, the pain never goes away. You just learn to deal with it. To sink it so deep in your soul that you can manage living again. But it is still there and it demands its time.
What happens then, is special days and holidays become the trigger. His birthday. Your birthday. His death. Fathers’ Day. And when those days creep in like a dark shadow, you feel the life you are clinging to, slowly being overwhelmed by that shadow.
So, yes, I am proud that I didn’t cry all day. But I am not surprised that I cried or that it hurts or that I miss him as much as the day he died.
The sting in the tail though is what this does to you. The repercussions. It makes you value your remaining loved ones with a vehemence you didn’t know existed. You demand more from your life, because death has taught you how precious this is. And you realise that actually, some people are not as important to you as you thought. And so you let them go.
The fear though, the fear of further loss, that is the most difficult. The ones that are left after your heartless, grief stricken cull…those that are left are cherished beyond belief and the fear of losing them crushes you. It wracks you with an anxiety that weaves around your veins reaching every part of you.
And so, you who have not know loss and grief yet, I envy you.