Missing You Today...
It's been a month now; and I miss you today even more than I did when we said farewell... maybe the shock is wearing off, and the reality of living without you is settling in, whatever it is - it doesn't take much to get the tears flowing these days.
It has been a long month, and yet it feels like time has flown... I can't believe I have had a whole month without you; we have survived two birthdays already, and today it's mine. First birthday without you - such a bitter sweet day. I am trying to make it a happy day, doing things my way; not following any traditions this time, as it just reminds me of you. So instead I am going out for lunch with a close friend, and then I am cooking dinner - Mum is coming as usual, but you should be there as well... Saturday night dinners are the hardest, and today is Saturday; a double blow, or a double blessing - who knows? I also have a couple of local friends bringing dessert, and Mum is making my favourite cake - ginger cake with caramel icing; now it's safe for my family to eat it, I am going to introduce them to the yummiest and most decadent cake I know of 😍!
Yesterday I popped out to see you - had an early birthday coffee with you; as I knew today would be too busy... first time since the funeral, it was hard, sad; but good. It was such a beautiful day, so I knew you'd be enjoying the sun - your grave is a sun trap, which was lovely to see.
I think next time I will go up alone, so I can talk to you - I couldn't face it alone this time, so Luke came up; but I never really had a chance to 'chat' with you (I felt a bit silly - truth be known). But we learn as we go; so next time I'll go it alone and will give you an update - between sobs probably!
I don't think you have any notions of grief until you have to live through it - just like getting married or having children; everyone's journey is personal, and different. It's the same here, we're all wading through this time at our own pace, and in our own way; but everyone is missing you Dad. I had no idea how much of an impact losing you would have on me, it is hard in many ways I can't even begin to express yet... but I just miss having you here, seeing you and hugging you, taking the kids over to see you; and general day to day life with you in it.
One thing I realised recently is that you were always 100% behind me - I literally could do no wrong in your eyes, you would stick up for me and protect me to the eenth degree. Don't get me wrong - Mum and Luke love me 100%, but they have a far more realistic view of me; warts and all, and regularly remind me (albeit gently) of those warts 😜. However I can see some of your extreme loyalty in my son, he is a Mummy's boy, and even when I am wrong he will protect me and stick up for me - little sweetie. But you don't see that type of loyalty very often anymore, and I miss that... I guess when you have grown up with it, you tend to take it a little bit for granted, possibly not even noticing it until you're older either. But you wore those rose-tinted glasses to the very end, and as a daughter - a fallible human being, I loved that about you, and I want to say thank you. It has meant I tried things and completed things not wanting to let you down - things that may not have happened had I not had you on the sidelines cheering me on, and telling me how proud you were of me. You epitomised to me everything I believe a Dad should be, and because of this I was able to make the right choice when getting married - Luke is everything to Button that you were to me, and I know she is going to grow up a strong and confident woman, as much because of your influence in her life, as Luke's.
I know everyone means well when they ask how I am, and in their next breath - ask how Mum is; and I know they mean well when they say "He's in a better place now", or "You will see him again"... But sometimes, often times, as much as I know this in my head - my heart has yet to accept those facts as a positive thing. Right now my heart aches, I desperately want to see you again NOW, and I feel like saying 'I only lost my Dad a month ago - how the f*** do you think I am?', but I am far to polite, and just say 'Doing good thanks". Please don't believe me if you hear me saying that though Dad, you were in my life for almost 42 years - it's going to take a whole lot longer than just one month for me to be realistically 'doing good'; however I do have some days that are better than others. So I promise you, that I won't sit here grieving forever - I will get on with my life soon, and start looking back and celebrating you, not just mourning you. But right now it is still too soon...
I have had this week off on leave, and I have spent a good part of it crying - I know you'd have hated this; but I needed it. I haven't had the space yet to cry, with going straight back to work after the funeral, and having two young kids at home who can't stand seeing me cry; I have had to hold it in. But I was becoming so exhausted and grumpy that I knew I needed to stop - I am hoping the tears will have helped release some of the pent up emotion, and I will go back next week feeling better within myself. I gave myself permission to stop, not write up a 'To Do' List and two days this week I have just let myself 'be', taking the day as it happened; yesterday was one of them, and that meant an early birthday coffee with you - unplanned and reasonably spontaneous, it was good. Both those days I have felt the need to write, and for the first time in years I am just letting words spill out... I have got a whole lot of blog posts coming now, and they just keep coming. I have realised I NEED to write, but I need to write for ME, and not try to meet anyone else's expectations. When I do this it comes; it comes thick and fast, and it comes naturally - nothing forced. I think this is a good thing, and hopefully I can work on it more from now on...
I know you will be looking down today and wishing me a wonderful birthday - I remember holding your hand while we were at the Hospice, and you whispered to me "I am going to miss your birthday", holding back the tears I said "It's okay Dad - you need to do what you need to do", but you said "It's not okay", and we had a little cry together. And you're right it's damn well not okay... but it is what it is, and I just have to keep going.
So Dad - I will have an extra piece of that scrumptious cake for you tonight; and I will talk and cry together with my family and friends... and I will get through it. It WILL be okay in the end, but right now it's tough - I love you, and I guess this pain just shows how deep that love goes.
I will always love you,