It’s one year on since you were taken from us, Dad. One whole year since I last spoke to you, since I last cuddled you, since I saw you alive.
Grief is a weird and funny thing, isn’t it?
There is no ‘proper’ way to grieve. There’s no guidebook or lessons on how to grieve, there’s nothing. There’s nothing to prepare you for grieving. Sure, there are websites and charities that can help, but only for so long and in certain ways. You could experience a loss a thousand times over, each time it’s just as raw and emotional as the last. Once the initial passing of the person is over and the funeral is done and dusted, that’s it. You’re left to your own devices. The messages and phone calls from people checking in on you soon dwindle, the friends soon disappear once more, the family too.
Sure, you’ll get some people regularly ask if you’re ok and how are you coping but a good 90-99% of people stop. To be honest, I could probably count on my hands how many people still ask to see if I’m ok from time to time. I’m not expecting to be babysat or having people pander to me, it’s just nice to be asked once in a while, that’s all. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say this either. I guess, you just fade into the background and people just go about their daily lives. One more light has gone out, never to be reignited and people don’t even know it.
One year on…
One year on, I’m still feeling the affects of my Dad’s passing. To be honest, I still don’t think I’ve fully wrapped my head around it. Will I ever? Who knows. Only time will tell I suppose. People go about their normal day to day lives, every day. I sit here and ask why do people go about their day as if nothing ever happened? When on the 16th January 2019, our lives were changed forever. The simple answer I give? People weren’t lucky enough to know you Dad.
We’re all one year older and there you are, 54 forever.
One year on, this isn’t how I pictured it. I imagined my parents happily together until a ripe old age like my grandparents. I pictured you being surrounded by all your family and all your grandchildren, telling them silly stories and jokes, winding everyone up and of course, still playing 8 ball pool on the iPad. Dad, I imagined so many different ‘possibilities’ in my head that included you, but none of this will ever happen. It still makes me angry. I still have so many questions whirring through my head on a daily basis.
Was this always how it was meant to be? Were you never destined to see your first grandchild? Were you never going to get old? Was it always going to end with you dying alone, in your home with no-one to help you?
I feel as though you were failed by those who have a duty of care to you. How? How can SO many professionals miss the signs? For years and years this went on for and every time you were dismissed. Everything could have been so different had things been detected sooner. I’m angry with the people who let you down. I’m not angry at the NHS, I’m angry at the individuals who should have done more.
One year on, I still don’t understand why you had to go.
I still don’t think I’ve really processed it. I keep trying to pretend it didn’t happen. That one day, you’ll just walk through my front door. I know it won’t happen, but I pray every day that it does. I’m not even religious but yet, here I am praying to a God I don’t believe in to work some miracles. Is that dumb? It sounds it as I read it, but to me in my head, it seems logical?
Kayne and Buddy, have been one of few things to keep me going over the last year.
It’s not been easy and there’s been so many times where I’ve wanted to be with you but I’ve kept going for them and for you because I know that’s what you’d want me to do. Kayne has of course, been incredible and understanding, he’s been patient and kind with me which is exactly what I needed. He is everything I need.
Buddy, is well – Buddy. He is definitely a light in my life. I know I’ve said this already but you really would’ve loved him. He has brought me so much joy and happiness. He’s brought it to all of us, Dad. I just wish you could see me being a mum, see me raising a son. What I wouldn’t give, to call you up late at night, asking for your advice and hearing ”Let me get mum to bring me down to yours.” Because I know you would’ve and that she would’ve had no choice either!
Often, you’re in my dreams – as you know, you’re in them.
We just walk and talk, sometimes I don’t remember them but sometimes, they just feel so real that I wish they were. I wish that these walks and talks were reality. They should have been. When we hug goodbye, I wake up with tears streaming down my face and my arms, shoulders and back are still warm from where I hugged you in my dream. It almost feels like you actually hugged me in my room.
Sometimes, I can smell you. This sounds really weird, but I do. It happens most when for a change, I’m not thinking about you. I smell your deodorant, your aftershave, your god awful farts (I’m not even joking). I do wonder if you’re here. Not going to lie, I hope you are.
I miss your laugh.
I miss how you lit up the room, how you would crack out some joke and everyone would laugh. Hell, I even miss how particular you were about your cup of tea (sorry Dad, but you do NOT put milk in first…). To be honest, I just miss everything about you. Your voice, is not clear to me now, I can’t remember it. Only when I watch a video of you. Perhaps, that’s because I’ve blocked alot of things out since you passed because the memory and reminders of you are just too painful for me.
The night you left us, is still one huge blur.
From time to time, I get flashbacks, seeing your lifeless body being worked on, the absolute chaos in the living room, Mum screaming, Ryan staring into space, trying to process what was going on. I remember the paramedic coming through to give us the bad news that we already knew and just crumbling. It was not the news she wanted to give us. They worked tirelessly to try and save you, but we were too late. This past week especially, that cold, dark and wet winters night has been playing over and over in my mind. It feels like I’m reliving it again, like I’m stuck in a never ending nightmare that I can’t wake up from.
When you came through in the psychic night, God, I was so happy.
Happy that you were there, happy that you came through and you KNEW stuff. It gave me a lot of comfort to know everything you told me. That even though you’re not here to be my cheerleader, you still are. It’s comforting to know that. I guess Dad duties never really stop do they? Ha.
Even though you’re not here physically anymore, as I’ve said throughout, I hope that you are around. Wherever you are, if there’s a heaven or an afterlife, that you’re having a swell time, catching up with Nana and Grandad Tom (your parents), Grandad, Uncle Billy… All of them. I hope that it’s not a shitshow where you are like it is here. You deserve to have a good afterlife. You deserve the whole world Dad. My life, is forever changed without you around. It won’t ever be the same again.
One day, we’ll meet properly again.
I hate to wish time away but that’s probably the only bonus to the circle of life, you get to see your loved ones again. But, I hope you’re there and waiting because we will have the biggest catch up ever. But, as I said in my open letter for now – the dreams will have to do. I’ll look out for the signs that you’re around because I know you’ll always be here, somewhere. I’m just sorry that this is how it has to be. I’m sorry that your Grandad and Dad duties are from above. F*ck, it sucks.
I love you so, so much Dad and I miss you more than words can say. I can’t wait for the next dream we have together. They’re my favourite kind of dreams. All my love, always.
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