Hello there, I know it’s been a long time since I blogged, but 2014 so far has been crazy. So far this year I have completed college with an A grade, been accepted to my dream college, celebrated one year together with Andrew and started house hunting in Glasgow. So, as you can imagine life has pretty much been going at 210mph and it’s been hard to catch a breath – never mind catch a moment to blog.
However, one month ago today I got the phone call that I have been dreading for some time now. On the 8th of July 2014 at 5.15pm, my father passed away. The past month has been an absolute roller-coaster. As much as I had prepared myself for that call, it did not make it any easier. It didn’t mean that I magically knew how to cope. It didn’t mean that I was fully ready to say goodbye to the man that I looked up to for 22yrs. It still, somehow, hit me like a train. My hero, my inspiration, my daddy was gone.
I’ve finally managed to wrap my head around this enough to be able to talk about it openly, and that’s what I plan to do in this blog. I plan to get all of these feelings that have been rushing through my mind for the past month down in black and white so that I can attempt to make sense of them, so that I can free up some space in my head for the very huge things in life that are coming my way over the next few months.
It’s hard to process that he’s gone, that I’m never going to see his eyes light up when he laughs, feel his arms hug me like nobody else can, hear his voice or simply be in his company again. It’s hard to believe that I have so much life ahead of me, yet I don’t get to share it with one of the people who gave me life.
People keep telling me that I have so much to look forward to, and I do, but the fact that my dad isn’t going to see me achieve these things and share the joy of them with me makes them seem that little bit less exciting. I mean, what girl doesn’t want her daddy to walk her down the aisle? Play the same practical jokes on her children as he did on her? Be there when she’s awarded the degree that she’s spent so long telling him she was going to get? It’s hard, and it’s never going to get easier. It’s just going to become part of life.
My father was the first person that encouraged me with computers and cameras, he was the person that taught me how to tie my shoes, taught me not to care what other people thought. He was the person that gave me the strength during the hardest times, and yet here I am facing the toughest thing I’ve ever faced and he’s not here. He’s not here to hold my hand and tell me it’ll be okay. He’s not here to hug me and tell me he loves me. He’s simply not here.
I like to believe that the loved ones we lose, never really go away, but this is such a huge loss that I’m having trouble holding on to that belief. I’m having trouble with everything really. It’s hard to deal with the pressures of normal life. Little things just don’t matter at the moment – I can’t find space in my head for them.
The hardest part of all of this was the funeral. It made it real. For the week between dad passing and his funeral I was somehow kidding myself that it was all just a misunderstanding and that my dad was lying in hospital wondering why everyone was so upset. Sadly that wasn’t the case, and this hit me like a ton of bricks as soon as I saw his coffin. He was gone, and this was goodbye. The final farewell, if you will.
I’m writing these words and it still doesn’t feel real. The day I got my exam results my first thought was ‘I need to call dad and tell him. He’ll be so happy’ and then it hit me, that I can’t just pick up the phone and speak to him. I can’t share these things with him, I just have to have faith that he is there and knows. And that’s really, really hard.
It’s been one whole month, and it’s always at the forefront of my mind. Every little thing reminds me of him – for example I started crying at an Irish scone one day, just because they were his favourite.
I guess, as well as trying to help me process this, I also wanted to share this with you guys in order to remind you that life isn’t permanent. It’s not something that’s always going to be there. Your parents will not be there forever, so use your time with them fully. Don’t let stupid things cause arguments. Don’t take them for granted. Call your parents and tell them you love them. Become friends with your parents, get to know them for the person they are instead of just as ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.
Embrace life – the good and the bad. Embrace the people you love whenever you see them, don’t worry about seeming needy or lame. Embrace them for the people they are – flaws and all. Embrace yourself for everything you are and everything you’re not.
Life is fragile. The people closest to you are the people that matter. I could not have got through the past month without some of my best friends, my wonderful partner and my close family. They have made every day worth waking up for. They’ve given me the drive to get up, dressed and off to work. They’ve made me see that the only way I can get through this is by making my dad proud and by focusing on the good – however hard it may be.
I guess, I’m still not ready to say goodbye to my daddy. I don’t think I ever will be. He wasn’t an angel, but he was the best he could be. He was the best dad I could have asked for and I wouldn’t change a day that I spent with him – because no matter the circumstance, I was with him.
But, like I’ve mentioned – there are lots of great things happening just now and I hope he sees them. I hope he’s proud of the decisions I’m making and the life I’m living. I hope he’s up there, with the glint in his eye and the smile ear to ear that I know him for.
This month marks the beginning of a new chapter of my life – upping sticks and moving my life to Glasgow. I’m terrified, but exciting. There’s this safety I feel in Glasgow. And that’s because of dad. Glasgow is home, and that’s because of dad and his stories. Now it’s time for Andrew and I to make our own home together, and I could not be happier at the prospect of waking up to Andrew’s face every day. He’s kept me sane the past month, and I’ll never be able to thank him enough. I can’t wait for our new life together, it’s going to be wonderful, terrifying and beautiful.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
It’s time for me to grow. It’s time for me to live. I just have to have faith in my daddy being by my side every step of the way.
Thank you for reading,