‘Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go’
It has been 120 days without my Dad. And it’s only now that I am actually allowing myself to properly grieve. The initial shock came first. And then overwhelming sadness consumed me for a while. But as time goes on and the reality that he is never coming back sinks in, I find myself in this weird place of intense grief which comes in waves which I am having to learn to live with. And I can only hope that with time, it gets a bit easier.
I regularly feel the lump in my throat and the hot tears prick in my eyes, but often those tears don’t fall. Instead I am just left with this horrible aching feeling in the pit of my stomach, which very rarely subsides. But occasionally the grief feels totally overwhelming. Something will remind me of my Dad and it’ll catch me off guard. This kind of grief takes hold and totally just takes the wind out of me. This is when the tears usually come. When I least expect them.
I find it so hard to comprehend that I will never hear his voice again, never see his smile, feel his touch, kiss his cheek or make him laugh. I will never make him a cup of tea again, cook him dinner, chat to him on the phone, buy him a box of his favourite Lindt truffles or make his bed for him again. That has all taken some getting used to. Had I known I would have been doing all of the above for the very last time, would I have done things differently perhaps?
There is so much I wish I could tell him. That’s the part I find the most difficult. He was my friend as well as my Father. And because I cared for him, I spoke to him almost every single day and saw him at least twice a week. We used to chat a lot, I would tell him most things. But now he’s gone, I find myself feeling lost and a bit lonely sometimes. With no parents in my life to rely on anymore, I’m just twenty five and I have to figure it all out of my own now. And that’s hard to swallow.
The children miss him too. Bella mentions him a lot, she tells me she’s sad that he died. And Hugo points to the fridge and says ‘Grandpa’ every single day. It hurts my heart because I can’t make it better. I’m sad for them that they’ll grow up without him. Because I know how much they adored him and my goodness did he love them. His grandchildren are what kept him going these past few years and he absolutely adored them all. I loved watching them together, it was so special and my heart breaks to know that the memories and photos are all I have left.
I have many of my Dad’s traits. I am stubborn, over generous and wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry at films like he often did. I am super strict on manners, just like he was. I know he loved me and was proud of me which does bring me some comfort. But I hope he knew just how much I loved him and how proud I was of him too. He was the bravest man I’ve ever met. And I miss him every day.