Dad. Nearly Two Years On.

It’s that time of year where everything feels a little bit sadder and less colourful. It’s nearly two years since my Dad has passed. I’m in Tenerife on the actual day, so I thought I’d write a bit on here before I go away, just to get it all out in the open and perhaps to make me feel a little bit better.

I can’t quite believe it’s been two years, but sometimes a ‘Bad Dad’ day is a lot heavier and you really can feel every second that it’s been two years.

What I have noticed, this year in particular, is my awareness of time and how it’s sped up around this time of year. January was his (and my brother’s) birthday. February flew like I don’t know what hit it because I was so engrossed in work. March has been much of the same. And we’re back to April again, with Mum’s birthday and my birthday quickly approaching.

I’ve noticed how my mood has changed in this past week leading up to it. I have cried and sobbed and wept at things I wouldn’t usually. I have been feeling down, I have been extremely quiet and I have been very thoughtful. I’ve felt guilty about enjoying myself recently and will fall into lulls of being sad and down again.

I think these are two massive things that you perhaps don’t realise on the first ‘anniversary’ of someone’s passing, but you are definitely more aware of on the second.

I am very lucky in that my support circle is still here (… the majority of it anyway) and I often talk about Dad with my Mum and Jay, as well as people in the pub. But it’s still those looming questions of ‘what would he think of me now?’ and ‘would he be proud?’ and that’s not a cue for people to go, ‘hey, he would be proud of you, don’t think like that, you’re awesome‘, because no one knows that for sure, do they? I still worry about my brother, but he’s 21 and pretends he doesn’t have feelings. We don’t talk about Dad so much, which I don’t like.

I have donated my £50 to Cancer Research for this day of remembrance and in memory of my Dad and how much I miss him. And I will think of him when I’m away on holiday. Just like I think of him every other day when I’m at home.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Bit of a serious post today. I feel a bit weird about writing this post, if I’m being completely honest with you. I haven’t posted about my Dad in what seems like forever, but I’m feeling a bit down about his birthday this year. I think it’s a realisation of a lot of things.

Today, my Dad would have been the ripe age of 54. He would’ve gone to work like any other day and not expected to be treated any differently. He wouldn’t have even wanted us to get him any presents – and wouldn’t have cared if we hadn’t bought him a card. We probably would’ve gone to TGI Friday’s (or Macaroni Grill, if it was still open!) this weekend to celebrate, each of us daring the other to tell the waitress it was his birthday, so they’d all sing to him, and ended up in the pub, with Dad calling to the ‘Engine room’ for his beer.

I do miss my Dad. I think about him all the time. I think about what he’d say about my job now and what words of advice he’d have for me to do better in everyday life. Well, everything apart from weight loss – that’s where I get my ‘heavy bones’ from. Everyday, I appreciate what he gave my family and me, and how he supported every one of us with where we wanted to go. And that’s not just Mum, brother and me, but our extended family too, from cousins to uncles and aunts. It says a lot when you talk about someone after they’ve gone, and I think there’s a story told either about Dad or one that he relayed to others at least once a week in the pub or on the phone to someone else, maybe even in one of Dad’s old offices.

Dad has been gone nearly two years. I can’t believe it’s been that long, because it feels like just yesterday when we were singing along to the Two and A Half Men theme tune in my parents’ living room or joking about what make up I had on my face. A lot has changed in two years. I have a different full time job and a different part time job – yes, I had both a full time job and part time job two years ago! My brother has seen many different girls (which Dad would’ve been slightly proud of!) and has nearly finished his degree. Mum has changed the house and the garden and the driveway… and my house and my driveway… We had no dogs and now, we have three. My Uncle is now divorced. My cousin finished college and got a job. We now have a second-cousin in Cambridge. And that’s all I can think of, off the top of my head!

The thing that hasn’t changed through this? He hasn’t been here to see it. I think that’s what I miss the most. Well, that and his advice. It’s difficult to speak to someone when they’re not there.

Two years ago today, I would’ve spent £20 on Marks and Spencers socks or a tie for my Dad’s birthday. For the second year running, today I will donate £50 to Cancer Research UK in his memory. And tonight, I will eat ham, egg and chips – my Dad’s favourite meal – washed down with a pint of cider with three ice cubes – I still don’t know why there should be three ice cubes, but he used to say ‘not two, not four; just three’ – probably listen to some Rolling Stones, Oasis or Rod Stewart songs and I will remember the fond times I had with him for 22 years. It’s true when they say ‘gone but not forgotten’.

One Year On…

My Musical Tattoo in memory of my Dad

I find myself writing this too soon. I am at work on Friday 8th Apr, and I just feel slightly overcome with emotion – so much that I need to vent. But thanks to the wonders of WordPress, you guys will see this on the actual anniversary of my Dad’s passing. Technology nowadays, eh?

A year has gone and I still miss him so much. They say the first year is the hardest – I think they were right. A lot has happened in the past year – just read this blog and you’ll see what dumb things I have done in order to cope (see my Don’t Look Back In Anger tattoo above). I don’t know how we all even made it through the first year without my Dad. Usually he’d have a yearly plan so we knew when we were on holiday or precisely when we had to get our hair cut.

The fact is I don’t think people ever stop grieving. Especially when you have good relationships or friendships with the one you are grieving for. The past week has been extremely difficult for me – I’ve found it almost like a countdown to a really upsetting day, which I suppose it has been.

After the accident had happened, I used to feel Dad around a lot. I know it’s weird but it just felt like he was there or watching what I was doing. I don’t feel that at all anymore.

I think the hardest thing to cope with is that everyone else’s lives have moved on. People he used to work with are still working. People who turned up to the funeral went back to work in the afternoon. It’s almost as if my family’s life is frozen. Almost like a tent pole breaking in half and now we’re just a broken tent. It’s not as if I want people to keep grieving, because it’s not nice – in fact, it’s probably one of the most horrible feelings that I’ve ever experienced – but when you’re experiencing it with your family, it’s even worse because you can’t do anything for them, just like they can’t do anything for you.

I wonder if he would actually be proud of me, of what I have achieved or if he would think I’m just a glorified swimming teacher, who didn’t actually need those degrees in the end. Or if he’d actually be proud of the person I am today – that the accident has affected me positively to realise how much family means to me. I know it meant a lot to him.

The weekend just passed (or the one that will start in half an hour from when I’m writing this) is Mum’s birthday and we took her out to London for the day, for shopping, Mexican food and to watch the Jersey Boys. On Sunday, in memory of Dad, we sat in our tracksuit bottoms on the sofa and ate ham, egg and chips, which was my Dad’s favourite meal. Today, (Monday from my time spectrum!) I will be taking half the day off of work to be with my family. I don’t know how I’m going to be feeling then. I just completely and utterly miss him so much.

I don’t know if he tunes in to read my blog posts, but if he does, I love you, Dad.

Swimming the Channel #2

I feel like I haven’t written here for a while, so I suppose it’s best to do so. Not much has really been happening, but it’s good to offload some of the random thoughts in your head, right?

I got my new car on Friday! Hooray! It’s so girly and I love it! I will post some photos up when I get a chance to take some. I’ve been fairly busy these past few days… well, busy and hungover.

I have been drinking quite a lot in the pub recently. I wouldn’t say I was an alcoholic, but defo a glorified binge drinker! I don’t like how it makes me feel the next day and it even ruined my weekend this weekend – I was meant to go to Jay’s granddad’s 80th, but I was so poorly, I couldn’t even look at the television screen for hurting my eyes.

It will be a year since Dad died next week. I honestly feel like rubbish when I think about it. I think, because I’m very conscious of when the date is, my emotions are all the more heightened. I cried twice today: once when I couldn’t open my door and had to drive to Mum’s, the second when I’d finally got in my house. It may have something to do with me, feeling so tired. I’m not sleeping very well and I’m having the weirdest of dreams. I woke up in the middle of the night which is rare for me, as I sleep through anything. I don’t know. I think it’s going to be a difficult week.

I’m going training tonight for my swim and I’m going to swim the mile 5 minutes faster than what I did before. I trained once last week and my recovery period took two days. Two days. I must learn to recover faster, particularly as I won’t have the two days in between swims to recover. This week, my aim is to swim tonight and tomorrow night and I would like both miles to be under 45 minutes. If I’m feeling alright, I might even have time to do another on Wednesday, but I don’t want to push it. Even after my first swim, I’d aggravated an old swimming injury in my right shoulder, which seems to be fine now. I don’t think my brother is actually serious about doing it, which is fine. I came up with the idea, I don’t mind doing it on my own and I’ve already raised £380.00. Please donate if you haven’t already here. Seriously, every penny counts. And even more so, as more and more people become affected by cancer. If not directly, I’m sure you’ll have known someone who’s had cancer, survived cancer, had a cancer scare or died from it, so why not put something towards it to try and prevent it?

I’m at work and I’m taking bookings for our next course which starts in May. I’ve booked two people on so far. Hooray. We need, roughly, 200 people more to enrol onto our course to meet targets. Fingers crossed, eh? I figure I need to market some more. If you know of any new mums in Essex who might be interested in swimming, please forward them to me :)

Anyways, that’s all for now! I’ll write again soon.

Don’t Look Back In Anger, I Heard You Say

I’m having a bad Dad day today. I have no idea what has brought it on. It’s not as if it’s a birthday, an anniversary or whatever. Sometimes I think it’s just sitting here in the office on my own. You start thinking about stuff. You email Cancer Research UK lady who’s helping you with your fundraising. You tell her that last year, your family raised £32,000.00 for Cancer Research UK in memory of your Dad. And then you start reading the posts of the people who donated.

I really miss Dad. A lot. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about him, for at least half my day. I look in the mirror and I have his eyes (minus the eye liner and mascara) and his chin. I hear songs on the radio that I know he would love, but he didn’t get a chance to hear. I see bloody West Ham winning and can hear his sarcastic remarks about how he was a jinx every time he went up there.

You probably relate to one of your parents more than the other, right? I think it’s only natural, really. Common interests and stuff. Looking back, after thinking I related more to Mum, I think I was wrong. I talk to Mum about artists who are now probably the most influential people of our generation, Mum doesn’t get it.

The worst thing is you don’t expect the people you love to just die. He didn’t know he was going to die that night. We didn’t know he was going to die that night. You get this idea in your head that the people you love are just going to exist forever. They don’t.

On the brighter side, this whole ordeal has made me into a stronger, better person. Someone he’d be really proud of. And what hurts even more is that he didn’t know me like this.

In August, I’m going to be swimming twenty one miles for Cancer Research UK in his memory. I don’t think I ever thought I’d say that. Even when I was a really good swimmer, I never ever thought I’d do something like that. It’s weird how things change when you go through losing someone you didn’t think you would lose.

I wish he was still here.

No words.

Tonight, I cried on the walk from work to the train station. I cried on the platform. I cried on the train. I even cried on the 5 minute drive home.

I have honestly not really cried like this since April.

I am really and truly crumbling under this illusion of Christmas. It’s going to be fucking shit. We all know it is. Everyone who’s lost someone this year is going to have a shit Christmas without them. I thought I was a lot stronger than this. I’m not.

The truth or the fact is that no one knows how I feel. Not even my brother, not even my Mum. Not even his closest friends in the world. Everyone has a Dad, but no one had the relationship I had with him. I’m not saying it was perfect. At all. In fact, I disliked my Dad so much most of the time during my teen years. I would never speak to him when I was at uni and if he picked up the phone, I’d ask him to pass me onto Mum. But we were actually getting a lot closer as I was getting older. I realised there are worse Dads out there and that mine was only here to advise me. I wish he was still here to guide me.

I have started to feel increasingly guilty about the little things that happened this year before the accident. When he invited me out for lunch after I went to see an agency and I turned him down outright, because I had better things to do. When I couldn’t find any couriers in my first week of work and he emailed me a few that would’ve delivered and I sent him back a shitty email. If I’d have known at the beginning of the year what I know now, I would do it all completely differently. I feel like a terrible daughter. Almost like a let down.

I know I have to be strong this Christmas, but I don’t think I can do it. I miss him so much and I wish he was still here, helping me to grow up a bit more.

I’m donating to charity for him at Christmas, for his birthday in January and for Father’s day. And this is just a scrap of what he did for charities, his friends and his family.