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It is some comfort (perhaps it creates a kind of catharsis?) to write when I am grieving. These posts are more for me to look back on and to help with the expression of my grief than to be read by the public, though I know that sometimes they help others going through a similar time in their lives. I hope this one, too, strikes a chord with some people.

I also know this is all about me – very self-centered and inward-looking…but that is what grief is – it is about the people left behind. So any thoughts or practical support is so, so welcome.

So, it has been nearly 5 months and I have come through the period of blessed and beautiful happy numbness when I was more laughing than sad, and when I often had to make myself remember that I couldn’t just go and see my father. Then, I think I just lived, thinking (or, rather, not thinking) that he was over in the nest-house he and my mum had created out of a lovely Victorian terrace in the semi-rural Yorkshire countryside.

That has ended. Now I’m into a sort of thinking-grief which is there at the back of everything I do as I realise that my father really isn’t here any more, and I miss him terribly. Tears are too ready to flow at any time and I’m back to being almost as over-sensitive to personal criticisms and comments as I was when I was a hormonal teenager.

I see – and replay in flashes without wishing to – more of his illness, his struggles towards the end, and less of the fun in his life before he became ill. I struggle to remember his face and have to look at photos to recall the smiles and the passion for life. My thoughts have flowed, sometimes bitterly, about the two years he and mum had after he – but not she – had retired. I wish it had been longer…(they had talked so much about travelling -to Venice, India, France – but never renewed their passports and never went, although before his passport expired, my dad fulfilled two life ambitions and trekked to Everest Base Camp and through the Sahara. The first stayed with him and he never lost a chance to expound, beautifully, upon the beauty of the Himalayas and their people.)

But there is little use in wishing.

Whereas before this writing process would take away the tears for another week or two, now the grief is hovering very close by and too ready to spill over into normal life. I find it much harder to have fun unless someone else starts it off. It’s as if I have forgotten how to really revel in life, or don’t think I can bring much fun to a social situation. I know this will disappear too.

Maybe I should just override the grief and go out and pretend to revel, like a character on a stage? I’ll try to do that over the next few weeks…it might just re-awaken the fun scallywag in me. Any other ideas are welcomed gratefully. I know that a month or two ago I was truly in the ‘carpe diem’ mindset when I saw how short life could be – it would be nice to get back to that and lose the very self-conscious, thinky-meh halo I’m carrying at the moment. Perhaps, too, I’m fighting the grief (which I have heard is just a darn-silly thing to do.) So, friends, grab me at a moment’s notice (any longer and I will think too much, be afraid that I’ll get upset or be boring, so I won’t go) and get me out for funtimes and drinks after work. Warning though – I’m scared that I will need to talk and just break down in tears in public. If I do, please just hand me a tissue and make me laugh. Thanks, and I love you all.

I am quite sure that this grief, too, will pass and I will smile again when I remember dad, but I wish (yes, there I go again) that it would hurry up! Dad deserves to be remembered with smiles and laughter and fun, so come on, everyday, workaday tears, disappear as quickly as you arrived. Merci beaucoup.

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