I’m not sure I can quite believe my dad died 10 years ago today. I have no idea where those 10 years have gone. So much in my life has changed, and yet I remember so vividly – like it was yesterday – 25 April 2012.
Seeing someone you love die is a moment that never leaves you. I think when that person is your parent, you are also acutely struck with the feeling that half of the partnership that created you has left you. You are more alone in the world, you have less wisdom around you to learn from, and you have less emotional support.
You never quite lose grief and bereavement
I was reminded of this only two days ago, when one of my dearest friends messaged me to say that her dad had just died. I don’t think it matters that we are adults, that we have our own lives and our own families, losing a parent means – for me and so many others – losing a part of ourselves.
Grief and bereavement are such changeable emotions. You begin with that searing pain, and over time – sometimes a very long time – that pain settles into a dull ache. It never goes, it just sits there. New personal bereavements, or supporting friends through theirs, act as reminders of that day, that moment, when you said goodbye to your loved one.
I’ve always thought it ironic that we talk about loss in relation to death, and yet we can never lose grief and bereavement. They stay with you forever.
What would my dad make of my life now?
Life moves on after the death of a loved one, but the person you’ve lost is always ‘The Missing Piece’, as Big Ian so aptly termed his book on life after death.
I often wonder what my dad would make of my life now. The two grandchildren he has never met, my work, where we live (we’ve moved since my dad died), and the fortunes (or lack of them) of our football team (Arsenal).
In difficult times I wish so much for my dad’s guidance. In happy times, I wish so much that dad could share in those moment. But mostly I just wish dementia didn’t exist, and that my dad could have lived a longer, healthier life. Then again, as my dad always said; “There are only two certainties in life, death and taxes.” I would always have had to accept that goodbye one day.
I love you and I miss you dad
10 years since we said goodbye, and I still haven’t found a better way to express how I feel than to say: I love you and I miss you dad. You will always be in our minds and our hearts.
To end this blog though, I wanted to share the thoughts of a little person who my dad never met. We talk about my dad, grandpa, a lot in our house, and yesterday at bedtime as I told our daughter that today would be the 10-year anniversary of my dad’s death, she said to me: “Grandpa knows us mum, he watches us and keeps us safe.”