My Dad has been on my mind so much the past couple of days and although that is nothing new it has felt that little bit stronger, so much so it has caught the breath in my throat and made me feel a little teary. It’s odd as there is no anniversary near by, nothing in particular has happened yet thoughts of him are dominating my mind. And I wonder sometimes, when I feel this way, is that his way of letting me know he is near me?
I had a dream last night which he was in and it wasn’t a particularly nice dream and the upset I felt actually woke me up. So part of me thinks surely if that was him around me, he wouldn’t want me to be upset or scared.
My Dad was a hugely spiritual person and I do think if there was an afterlife he would have made it clear to me and he hasn’t, only once and that was shortly after he passed away, unfortunately there has been nothing since.
Having said that I’m not fully ready to give up on the idea that when we die it’s not the end. Do I believe in heaven in the sense of God etc? Maybe not, I think I believe in another realm, just like the one we are living in, continuing at the same pace as this one yet the two cannot overlap. I like to think he is catching up with loved ones and is laughing and joking and living the carefree life he deserved.
I wrote the post below around 18 months ago about how I was feeling at the time, not much has changed if I’m honest.
So Dad if you do hear me, let me know, because I miss you.
This year will mark six years since I lost my Dad and sometimes it feels like only yesterday and yet other times it feels like a lifetime.
He was everything you would want your Dad to be and, yet he is still someone I struggle to talk about without getting upset. Even now. And I wonder sometimes will it ever feel any different? Will I ever be able to talk through all the amazing stories with fun and laughter?
A part of me also feels silly when I get upset, losing a parent is something a lot of people go through and in my eyes, they deal with a lot better than I have. I also fear as it is now ‘old news’ that people will think ‘oh god here she goes again..’ So instead I think of him, everyday but stop myself from speaking about him.
As I sit here now in the house I grew up in, a house full of laughter and vivid happy memories I can see him standing in my doorway asking me why I have every single light on in the house? Did I think we were made of money?
He was the ultimate story teller, he had, it seemed lived a thousand lifetimes before I came along, his seventh child, his baby. His sense of humour could have me laughing for hours, his voice could be heard singing throughout the house.
He was kind, soft and gentle, he was mild mannered and rarely raised his voice to us. He was strong and capable and could fix anything whether that be a bike, or a heart he was always there when I needed him. He wasn’t perfect of course, he was stubborn and impatient, but his good points far outweighed any of the bad.
I was always a Daddy’s girl, I look the most like him with my dark hair and olive complexion and our personalities make us pretty much the same person, I have most of his qualities including his passion to write. Along with being a performer he was also a writer and an artist, he was a man brimming with talent from an early age.
I adored hearing about his former lives, as he was 50 when I was born some would say he had already lived most of his life, but to me he was a young man in a 50 year old’s body and it never stopped him from teaching me everything.
He was the first one to teach me how to ride my bike, the first one to teach me how to swim and the first to teach me a Johnny Cash song.
I was 15 when he first went into hospital, I remember the fear and sheer devastation when I saw him lying there attached to a life support machine, he didn’t look like my Dad, he just looked so poorly. But the fighter that he was, he was home a couple of weeks later.
And then teenage life took over, I left home at 16 my poor Dad driving me all the way to London, all of my worldly goods packed in his trailer, I’m not even sure I gave him a look back once I got there, I was a typical teenage girl who thought I knew it all. My fiery, independent streak had come from him after all.
Fast forward to June 2012 and life as I had known it came crashing down. He went through two 12 hour operations to save his life and was on a life support machine for four days, four of the longest most painful days of my entire life.
It’s weird what goes through your head in times of grief, all I could do was sit there and replay my whole 25 years with him being the only man I ever needed in my life. And not once did I think he wouldn’t wake up. He was my Dad he had to right?
He passed away at 5.30 pm on the 15th June. He was 74.
I think deep down, I always knew as he was an older Dad that I wouldn’t have him forever, but I was only 25 ya know? There was so much he didn’t get to see, and I felt so angry that he had been taken away from us. I also felt that a huge chunk of the person I was died with him. I spent a long time silently grieving for the life I had lost and also the life I thought I would have. I pushed everyone around me away with anger and upset and failed to realise other people had loved him too. It felt at times like I was the only person to have ever experienced loss and i felt irritated by people asking me about him.
I realise now with hindsight that what I was feeling was just grief but at the time it felt never ending. For weeks after I felt I could smell the hospital on my skin and on my clothes no matter what I did I just couldn’t get rid of it. I also moved back into our family home which looking back I don’t think it was the best thing that I could have done. At times it was comforting, other times it felt like it held me back and I felt suffocated.
So fast forward to the present day, with many birthdays, Christmas’ and anniversaries under my belt, I still think of you every day Dad. You are there in every memory I make. When I finally passed my driving test I knew you were there beside me telling me to concentrate and stop speeding. When I started working on my career I did that for you, I wanted you to be proud of me. When we made it to Cyprus, somewhere you had once called home I know you were there because I saw you in the dreams that I had every night whilst I was there.
Every decision I make I ask for your advice and for every new thing I see or do, I’m doing it for both of us Dad.
I worry that I am forgetting the sound of your voice, it’s been so long since we spoke I often wonder if your accent in my mind is true to life.
I worry that the memories we made I will one day forget.
I worry about who will one day walk me down the aisle, I worry I wont be able to do it without you.
I worry about any children I may have will only ever see your face in pictures, what will I tell them?
All of this I know I can’t change however much I wish I could.
We never had long enough did we Dad?
I try to count my blessings, I know how lucky I was to have you, for as long as I did.
And I hope you can hear me Dad from wherever you are.
‘We only part to meet again’