Lifestyle: On grieving, writing & healing


For the last few weeks, writing has felt almost impossible. In the month since my Dad passed away, I've felt so many conflicting emotions, that while it felt impossible not to write things down, it felt impossible to know where to begin.

Grief isn't something that just happens. Grief is exhausting, all-consuming and unapologetic. It steals your appetite, your sleep and your thoughts. It drains you and tortures you until you feel nothing. It is slow, offering painful memories of a person who has touched your life in so many ways and is no longer present. Of a person who has given you so much, taught you so much and is now suddenly so absent. I don't know how to even begin writing about the pain I feel every day or how hard it feels to do even the simplest of things.

When someone has a long term illness, or they're old and nearing the end of their life, death feels difficult but inevitable. It feels almost like you have a chance to come to terms with their death before it's happened. To say goodbye and let them be at peace. But when someone who is seemingly fit and well, just suddenly dies, life smashes into a million pieces. You don't see the warning signs, the deterioration. You don't get the chance to do things for the last time. You don't get the chance to say goodbye.

I think that when I first wrote my Dad's death, words that still feel alien even as I write them, a lot of people probably presumed that he had been ill. When someone dies suddenly, we tend to make the assumptions that maybe they weren't well, maybe they were old. People just don't drop down dead. Except that sometimes they do. And trust me, the shock, the grief and the sorrow of an unexpected death is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and something that I'm still trying to come to terms with.

On Wednesday the 27th December, my world shattered into a million pieces and was forever changed. I know that I'm never going to be quite the same after losing him. I'm never not going to miss him with every bone in my body. I'm never going to stop wishing that we had longer with him. Or wishing that my future children had gotten the chance to get to know what a special man he was. But I know that I am going to do all I can to carry on. To continue creating a life that I love and which he would be proud of. Even if it's just one step at a time.

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