Dear blog…a tough 20th anniversary

I have struggled to sit down and make blog time this week. It was the 20th anniversary of my Dad’s death on Monday and it’s left me sullen, fatigued and withdrawn. It’s weird because often I feel like so much time has passed, it shouldn’t hurt anymore. I mean, he’s been gone longer than I knew him living, by four years. Why should this affect me or upset me anymore? But every year the anniversary crawls up and I find myself struggling.

It’s also the week leading up to my birthday. My Dad died five days before my 16th birthday. For years I’ve always tried to compensate in the same way; planning a huge birthday celebration to try to alleviate my melancholy and give myself a good distraction. This has definitely meant some fairly great birthday shindigs but in the end, truthfully, this time of year just sucks and I am sad.

I feel very alone in my sadness. Having moved about two years after he died has meant that other than my mother, there’s next to no one in my life today that knew him. None of my friends or new family knew him and it means that there’s no one to share in memories or laugh about the old times with. There’s no one to tell me how much I look like him, sound like him, or remind them of him. There is no one around to help me keep him “alive” and present in my life through the retelling and reliving of stories.

And each year, I lose more and more of him in fading memories and stories untold. The sound of his laughter, the twinkle in eye, his bantering style, the touch of his hands, the strength of his hug, and the smell of his aftershave all fade more and more from my mind’s eye as time passes. A grief and loss compounded.

But at the end of this self-pity party rainbow, there is a barrel of gold!

In other ways, I feel closer to my Dad. As I have grown and matured as a woman, my spirituality and belief in the afterlife has enabled me to develop a relationship with him that resides on a different plain and at an entirely different level than the physical world. I go to him, I talk to him, and I share with him myself with pure honesty and authenticity. And in those moments, I sense his presence and I feel his unconditional love more powerfully than I did when he was living. Our relationship now transcends time and space and it has allowed me to know, in my heart, soul and spirit that he lives on and that he is always with me.

I still grieve and it’s still difficult – I wish he was here in the physical world – but I have found comfort.

How have you dealt with the loss of a parent?

%d bloggers like this: