Living with grief

I won't lie here, I am still really struggling with losing my dad. It's been 8 very long months for us. I can honestly say it hasn't got any easier.

I don't know when it will either, they say times a healer and funnily enough every person who's said that cliched line to me has been someone who hasn't gone through the same. I'm not being mean about that but its the truth. Sometimes people don't know what to say, so they say what they think they should without thinking how words can actually make things worse. When my friend lost her Mum recently I remember texting her and saying I won't tell you it will get easier, or times a healer because for me it isn't. All I can say is take it day by day. Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing.

My Dad wasnt terminally ill, he didn't just drop down and die of a heart attack. Instead he got ill very quickly and passed away within days. I'm not sure what's worse? I've said to my friends who've lost a parent through terminal illness I can't imagine sitting around and waiting for it to happen, and again my friend who lost her mum from a heart attack – taken just like that. No goodbyes. I suppose we had a few days to be with him, talk to him and be together. I will never forget those days, they were the longest, emotionally draining days and nights of my life, I can still hear the beep beep of the ventilators and machines in ITU. When I'm at work and go to theatre and scrub my hands with the hibiscrub, I remember doing it in his room in ITU. The smells, the beeps and the deep, raw pain that we suddenly were given to deal with.

I think about my Dad every single day.

I think about his death, and those days before. I remember those days so vividly, yet so clear. I feel that same pain every single day. The feeling useless. The going through the motions but just wanting to curl up in bed and cry your heart out. I remember how homesick I felt being away and staying with my mum, missing Miller. Then coming home for a day or two and missing my mum and feeling so guilty she was alone for a night. No matter what I did I felt so very sad.

There are odd times when although you don't forget or not think about them, you have this sudden realisation that they're not here anymore and you won't see them ever again. This happened last week. I woke up, it must've been around 2am. I opened my eyes and it hit me, my dad is gone. I won't ever see him again and then within just a few seconds this feeling swooped up from the pit of my stomach and made me let out big heaving sobs. That's grief, it catches you unaware.

Then this week, I'd been thinking about him all day and the more I thought the busier I made myself. Around 10pm at night I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the kitchen floor, when I kept trying to block it out. The more I did, the more harder I scrubbed. Part of my brain was saying just keep going it'll pass, the other part fighting it saying just give in and cry. So I did. I sat on my own, on the floor and sobbed. I felt exhausted. I still am.

I don't really talk about how I'm feeling, which seems odd given that I'm here sharing my feelings on the World Wide Web. But you know, I find it hard being upset in front of people, yet being this way and not being overly emotional publicly tends to make people forget, you are going through something so so sad. I talk to a very few close people, but not often. I worry about people thinking I should be 'over it' by now. A freind once said anyone who thinks that clearly hasn't lost anyone close to them. Losing a parent is a grief that is different to any grief I've felt before. I lost my best friend at 11, that was hideous. My grandparents died of terrible diseases when I was in my late teens. I was bereft, they were a huge part of my life and we spent every weekend with them. They were wonderful, wonderful decent people. I still miss them now. I still feel sad. But you know what? Its nothing like losing a parent. My friend said to me one night when we were talking, how she just can't imagine how I'm feeling and when she tries to, and tries to imagine her mum not being here she feels sick, physically sick.

I honestly thought I'd be forty five plus when I lost a parent. Not thirty three. My kids haven't known my dad long enough, my Bella won't ever remember her grandad. That makes me so so sad. I have no pictures of them together. How awful is that? I remember the first time I took her to see him. He sat in his chair and I passed her over and he just snuggled her up, kept saying how tiny she was and how he couldn't believe how strong she'd become.

Christmas is looming. My first without him. I've been lucky enough to see my parents every single Christmas despite living away. I admit I'm not looking forward to it. Last year mum and dad came to us on Boxing Day, Bella was ten weeks old. Dad said he couldn't believe how chilled and how much she'd changed me. She has, but since losing him I've changed even more. Less time worrying about things and people who don't matter, more time on those who are worthy of it. I have a different outlook on life, Bella and my dad have made that happen.

So this is how I live with my grief. Not very well. Hidden. Mumbled words, sentences. I just write as I feel. I'm not sure my pain can be conveyed with words, I'm not sure anything could do that. It helps to share this way. But all I can do for now is focus on my little family, and take each day as it comes.

Peace out x