The One Year Mark...

Dear Dad,

I know I didn't acknowledge the one year of your passing as I have with previous milestones... life had got too busy; we were only a few days off flying out to Hawaii for our first holiday without the children, and it was chaos. I know you wouldn't have wanted your memories to be the cause of more stress; you were always putting yourself last.

However, you were not forgotten - even if I didn't write about it on here... We arranged and hosted an afternoon tea in your honour with all your favourite food, and had the family over, together with Uncle Max & Aunty Wendy.

There is a theme here; cream and liquorice!

We watched the slideshow we'd put together for your funeral, together with the funeral photos, and listened to the songs we'd chosen for you... it was very touching, and this is what I wrote in my journal just afterwards:

"It's just over the one year since Dad passed & I have yet to write about it or put a poem together - but that is ok. We acknowledged it on the day with family, & shared an afternoon tea at our place full of everything he loved. We went through the slideshow & the funeral, & listened to a couple of the funeral songs - it was lovely but still a bit surreal. Seeing those photos of him again, made it feel like he was still right here with us & I can't describe it. It was a very weird feeling really, but nice - I didn't cry this time, it wasn't that empty feeling anymore."

I have noticed though, that as time has gone on I don't 'hear' you as much; in the first few months I used to 'hear' you talk to me in my head - in your voice, as I was going about my life... little things you used to say, silly comments that would either make me smile or shed a tear (depending on my mood that day), things I would have expected you to say in regards to something that had happened (like Lydia completeing the tryathlon on your anniversary, you would have been so proud). Now I have to really think hard to hear your voice, but as soon as I hear it on a video it all comes rushing back to me. It still surprises me that you're not here some days, other times it feels like you have been gone forever... But I still find myself crying unexpectedly over a memory that was triggered suddenly, the least little thing can still 'get' me, but it's becoming less and less. I know it's time to let go and move on; I know you would want that too - but some days I just can't.

I did manage to throw together a poem to commemorate your first year away from us; not my best work, but the feelings were still deep.

One Year On

I can feel you with me
As you flash across my mind
The surrealness of this new reality
Still catches me off-guard

One minute I can hear your voice
The next minute my heart breaks
Shattered into a hundred pieces
As reality snaps back into place

I catch a glimpse of you
In my brother, my son, my nephew
You are still with us
But I desperately miss your presence

There is something calming
About the home of your childhood
A beacon in the midst of dark times
A safety net on those hard days

But you're not there anymore
I can feel your spirit
But I can't feel your arms
And it's just not the same

Dad - I still miss you 
Desperately every single day
Tell me how to let go
How to move on without you

I am grateful that time can dim the pain a little bit; it never goes, but you learn to live life again; a new reality with each day.

I thought I would share a couple of my favourite photos of you with my few readers...

This is a little clip Google put together at Mum and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary... I love how they take a quick glance at each other, and it ends with them both having big smiles for the cameras.

I love this photo of me with Mum and Dad - he was so proud to be walking me down the aisle, despite being so sick that day that he should have been in the hospital; nothing would have stopped him being there for me.

Mum and Dad in their element; all the young Grandies together at their house... in almost all the photos I have of Dad with my kids, he is gazing at them adoringly, like he was here. It is such a special memory, knowing how much he loved them; I only wish they were a little bit older before he passed away.

Thank you Dad for almost 42 years of devoted love and complete acceptance; I can never repay you, nor ever forget.

Your Daughter, always and forever



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