This weekend will mark two months since losing Dad. To be honest, if feels like two decades since I last saw him. The intense pain has started to ease in some ways, and yet in others it is actually worse. It’s worse because two months on, it is starting to feel real. The world that stopped momentarily in dismay to digest the news that Dad had been taken so suddenly has been replaced by a reality that everything and everyone still carries on, and yet we feel so left behind. Time ticks over, people go back to work, the flowers wilt. It’s a harsh reality for us at the moment as we try to rationalise his absence. It’s impossible. The calmness of a steady world, rhythmically moving from day to night, night to day is far from the reality of our chaotic world, hit like a tornado. Everything is the same, and yet everything is so different.
It’s left me feeling lost about many things, big things in life. Is there really a heaven? Where DO we all go? People say that in times of great loss you really cling to your faith. In some ways this is true, and in others it leaves you questioning the very essence of what you believe. I’ve prayed. Day in day out. I’ve gone to church and lit candles. I’ve looked for signs. I’ve waited for him to come to me in my dreams. But nothing has brought me comfort. Not really. I’m left wondering about the meaning of life when someone can so suddenly be erased. How the world can simply delete the presence of such a magnificent man in so many ways, and yet he is everywhere. How can we ever reconcile this is a destination that is a little beyond our understanding right now. I’m hopeful that we will get there one day.
What has indeed helped and brought great comfort is the support of family and friends. What I’ve come to know about people who are dealing with intense grief. What we all need is different. Some need space. Others need to be close to others. I’m of the later kind. Phone calls, messages, cards, food, hugs and more hugs. Flowers sent two months later from a friend, just so I would know that my family, and more importantly, My Dad are ever present in their thoughts. A simple gesture with profound meaning and impact.
I’m holding on desperately to the sound of his voice. The image of his hands. His somewhat aged and disfigured fingers after suffering years of arthritis. Yet still so precious. You feel like stopping everyone in the street, to make sure they know / knew about this wonderful human being. What he did, how he lived life. I’ve covered my fridge in photos so that he is ever present in my childrens’ lives and thoughts. I just miss him. His ability to make anyone smile, just by walking into the room. The laughter that he infused in my children. The way he called me Katie. There are yet a handful of people who do that, and I wish I could hear it one last time.
So two months on I think that as a family, we are doing remarkably well. We are doing our best. We have amazing people around us. It’s tremendously hard to transform and reshape your family unit. To try to fill in the vast void that is left both physically and emotionally. As a friend who recently also passed away said each and every day, hug your loved ones. There is so much truth in that it hurts. I know that one day I will be able to look at the thousands of photos and simply smile without feeling a lump in my throat. I’m not sure when that will be, but I know it will happen.
Grief is the price we pay for love. As hard as that reality is, we wouldn’t therefore want it any other way.