A lot of people say to me “you’re so brave, for having lost your Dad and doing x and y and z” or the revised version of “You’re so brave.”
I can listen to strangers or friends talk about their Dad, or cancer, or tumours. I can go into a hospital, a ward, a hospice. I can talk about death and chemotherapy and grief. But that doesn’t make me feel brave, or brave. It usually makes me feel torn. Between what I wish I could say and do, and what I have to do, which is say and do nothing. Blend in.
If I broke my leg, I’d have a scar. You’d be able to physically see the remnants and reminder of a pain I once felt. The break is temporary, but the scar is everlasting.
The scar I carry, you can’t see. I try to live with them, and make them part of myself…
But in six years I’ve only felt brave a handful of times.
Going to my GCSE exam four hours after Dad passed away. Reading at his funeral.
I’ve cried more times in the past six years than I care to remember. Mainly as I can’t always control it. It fills up inside me and overflows. It sneaks out without permission, at the most inconvenient times.
Thankfully I read this article tonight that reminded me that I’m normal. That grief isn’t something to get over, or move on from. You move forward and it stays with you.
It’s still hard. I still cry, but for different reasons now… I feel happy. I feel scared that something terrible will follow. I feel as though my life with my Dad was a lifetime ago. I feel as though who I was at 16 and who I am now are two entirely different people. My Dad doesn’t know me now, he’s missing out. I need his advice. I know he’d say something funny. His favourite song is on the radio.
I still have to deal with it, as Mary states in her article, there’s always a reminder of a person. You never forget, only remember. It’s inescapable.
I’ve dealt with my loss, my grief, it just doesn’t go away, and I sometimes forget that it can never go away. It just evolves.
It’s part of me that’s along for the journey, and while you may not see it – I may seem brave – I’m just living the adventure of life, growing each day as I live with a loss.