Guided by grief

The 13th of November marks 18 months since I lost my Dad and in that time I have realised that at times my mood can be completely derailed by the waves of grief. It can be anything from a memory to a saying that leads me to ride the wave. And if I am honest certain times of the year I find the waves come more frequently.

Things grief has taught me

I realise that some of these sound angry and the truth is they are, ask anyone who has lost someone and they will tell you they were robbed of time and moments. With that realisation comes anger and the following discoveries.

Time isn’t a great healer

After a great loss, at least one person will tell you that time is a great healer. Don’t believe them, yes, you find that some days are easier to face but there will never be a time when you don’t miss that person.

Grief makes people awkward

I lost my Dad and although he isn’t here, he is still very much a part of me and who I am. Which means that I want to talk about him, I want to share my memories of him with others and it hurts when people don’t mention him and avoid any form of topic that can lead to him.

Memories are to be cherished

I was lucky to have a Dad that spent so much time with me, a dad that imprinted many memories on both my heart and mind.  Since realising the value of a memory I encourage people to spend time with loved ones and cherish every moment that they get.

Blonde girl looking out over a river

What the waves have shown me

When I think of my grief waves I link them to the stages of grief, meaning that the waves can carry with them anything from sorrow to anger.

Unlucky for some

Since losing my Dad, the 13th has become a date that I dread. Every time the 13th comes around I know that I am adding another month on to the ones without him. Another month where I haven’t been able to tell him about my day or ask for his advice.

Daddy daughter dance

What was once something I revelled in and would daydream about has now become a source of heartbreak. My Dad and I were lucky enough to have a song, a song that he used to sing to me as a baby. I would daydream about us dancing to our song and him handing me over to my new husband. I remember dancing on my Dads toes at many a family party growing up and even back then I knew that dancing with my Dad on my wedding day would be a memory I would treasure forever.

In the past 18 months, I have attended several weddings. All of which have taught me that the waves come fast when those Father and Daughters take to the floor. I long to tell the brides to commit that moment to memory because one day they will realise how lucky they were to have had that dance.

Daddy Daycare
We live in a day and age where some people are lucky enough to have hands-on grandparents. Nannys and Grandads who will re-arrange their days to help out with childcare for their grandkids. Which is why it infuriates me when I hear people spewing vitriol about how their parents have said no. In fact, I quite often suppress the urge to scream at them.
 
I don’t have children and it breaks my heart that should I ever be lucky enough to have children, they will never know my Dad. So to hear people blessed with children calling their parents for everything over childcare issues really angers me.
Don’t worry
As my mum and boyfriend have discovered, I worry a lot more now. If they mention they will back by a certain time or are travelling somewhere and say they will let me know when they’ve arrived safely, I expect them to. Unfortunately, there have been occasions where they haven’t been in touch. And when I tried to contact them I have ended up reaching voicemail which ultimately left in me in a state of panic 

Things to remember when grieving

  • There is no time limit.
  • The stages of grief can hit you at any time, in any order and sometimes more than one will creep into your day.
  • It is okay to not be okay.
  • If you want to talk about your loved one, talk about them.
  • Let yourself feel, if you want to cry, cry. If you want to scream, scream.
  • Don’t feel guilty… There will come a time when you will hear yourself laugh again and in that moment you will feel guilt. Just remember how much your loved one would want you to have these happier moments.

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