Dad

Is this grief? Not sure it is. But then I’m not sure what it should feel like.

I’m not really an emotional talker. I guess this is my way of expressing my feelings. Writing allows me to explore my thoughts and emotions so if this gets abit ramble-y forgive me….

Is it unhealthy to not feel anything. Maybe I’m just numb to it. Subconsciously blocking it out so that I can get on with looking after my family. But then it’s still spoken about. There are some things I’ve not said. Little things. I find myself trawling videos on our phones hoping to hear my dads voice again even in the background. But again, I have a very clear memory of his voice, of his face, of his mannerisms. My dad died in hospital and we were given time with his body. The hospital Chaplin joined us and prayed for him and for us as a family. But you know I have no memory of what my dad looked like in the hospital. When I think of my dad his face is younger, happier and above all else, has his soul behind it.

My dad was a humble man. Never wanted for much. Worked hard for what he got. Treated people with more respect than many of them deserved but had an old fashioned sense of how we should behave. The man I have become is entirely down to the guidance he gave me. I have always made decisions with the thought ‘what would dad do’ going through my mind.

The sad thing is, he helped so much to get us into our new home. And it didn’t stop there. We had so many plans to improve the house together. So many jobs that he was going to help me do, just once he got himself pulled right. I never imagined that I’d be facing those jobs alone. It’s a small thing, but having a dad to ask questions as your planning and then doing jobs, makes things far easier. Without that the jobs will become a heavy task, but at the same time I know that my dad would want me to do them and do a good job of them. And I have that determination all the more resolute.

I guess I’m in that limbo stage. Christmas was a distraction. Time with the kids, time where I didn’t really get a second to think about things if I’m honest. And Maybe that’s a lie, if I did have opportunities I probably chose not to take them.

However, on the eve of his funeral I feel quite daunted by the magnitude of the day ahead. I keep wondering about all the little personal touches that I want as part of my own personal tribute to him. He hated formality. He wore a tie maybe a handful of times. He wouldn’t want everyone depressed. So I’m wearing the brightest tie I own. I’m wearing the brightest socks I own. There will be no black in my attire, my suit is blue and my shirt is white. I will do all I can to smile and reassure those in attendance that it’s ok to smile and recollect the good times, much like I saw him doing back in February when we all attended the funeral of my grandad, his dad.

As for fitting tributes, I find myself thinking about what he loved best. In the same way a biker would have some nod to motorbikes in the day. What is it that my dad would want a nod to? And you know the biggest thing, screaming out at me is people. In particular, community. By that I mean the family and friends that my dad cultivated around us to enhance our lives and support us when needed. Ultimately, that community is what I will draw strength from tomorrow. My spirits will be lifted by the heartfelt love and respect around us.

Maybe then I’ll grieve. Maybe then I’ll have that overwhelming emotion. I feel it growing, I feel tense but my focus is on support for my mum, support for my sister. We’re a strong family and we stick together.

From here though, I grow. It’s my 40th year and to mark it I always had the goal of having a beer with people. Sharing a beer is one of the greatest things in life in my opinion. My dad loved that. That’s where all my beery love comes from. So if you see me, let’s share a beer and have a chat. It’s what my dad would have wanted.

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