Today is a day that a year ago, I couldn’t imagine coming. A year ago today, we lost our darling Dad. Suddenly. The pendulum swung, in a moment. In those few weeks following Dad’s passing I searched for answers. For someone to give me a reason why it was ‘his time’. I learned so much in that time, but most of all, I learned that searching for answers that don’t come is hard. It’s really hard. So I stopped after a while. There was no point, and it was not helpful. It’s hard on the brain to try to rationalise loss, particularly when your loved one wasn’t really ill. Whilst my Dad did have a heart condition, it was managed and he was in great shape. That moment of receiving the call, was the first time in my life where I really felt out of control. I tried to slam on the breaks and stop time. The problem is, time doesn’t stop. The sun rises, the sun sets. People get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep. Life moves on. However it is really hard for those who are left behind, wanting the world to realise that there is now a huge hole in the world. A loss that cannot be described.
I’ve found it better to simply focus on the positive. To try to laugh and smile when I think of him. To talk about him. To see his presence through everything he has left. It doesn’t bring him back, but it keeps his memory alive.
It’s been a really hard year for my family. I felt in those early days, that we simply didn’t know ‘how’ to be a family without our Dad. We have, however found our way and whilst we are still grieving each day, we have continued to laugh, continued to smile. We have stuck in there for each other. Each of us has grieved in our own way. Each of us dealing with our own feelings and trying to look out for each other. Dad would be so proud. So proud of each of us, and especially our Mum.
So this day, one year on we continue to celebrate the memory of our beautiful Dad. It’s hard because I won’t be there with my family. I WILL be with my own, flying home from our family holiday. I will toast to him on the plane. I take comfort knowing however that there will be many friends and family, celebrating and commemorating with my Mum, my brother and sisters. As my Dad would want, they will be having a Crownie which should be ‘free and compulsory’.
There are so many things I miss about Dad. When my siblings and I had to write down our love for Dad in his eulogy, surprisingly we found it easy. It was easy to come up with a million things that we adored about him. Like his infectious laugh. The kind that made him almost pass out from not being able to breathe. His clumsiness. His funny language that he made up (long story). Singing in the kitchen. His obsession with North Melbourne. His love for us all.
Dad…..a year on we still love and adore you and will continue to keep your memory alive each day. This poem was used at the end of the mass booklet at his funeral. The words speak so true to me. Now and always.
We do not need a special day to bring you to our minds.
The days we do not think of you are very hard to find.
Each mornign when we awake we know that you are gone.
And no one knows the heartache as we try to carry on
Our heart still aches with sadness and sectret tears still flow.
What it means to lose you no one will ever know.
Our thoughts are awlays with you, your place no one can fill.
In life we loved your dearly; in death we love you still.
There will always be heartache, and often a silent tear.
But alwyas a previous memory of the days when you were here.
If tears would make a staircase, and heartaches make a lane,
We’d walk to the path to heaven and bring you home again.
We hold you close within our heartsl and there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives until we meet again.
Our family chain is broken now, and nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again
(aka Snake as Dad would call me)