Through Tears and Pain.

Almost 2 weeks ago I received a message on facebook from a lady I didn’t know, and I knew something was wrong. I called the telephone number and heard the news. My dad had passed away. At first, I was in complete shock. Denial. Disbelief. The phone call from the police shortly afterwards confirmed it, my dad had passed away and been found at home by a friend.

At the time of his death, we hadn’t spoken for a few months. He had deleted me from facebook earlier in the year over something silly, and I had only spoken to him once since. That was 2 months ago when I visited him at his shop. I had decided that it was silly to stay out of contact and made the first move, but we hadn’t had contact since.

A non-traditional relationship.

We didn’t have a traditional father-daughter relationship. He wasn’t an engaged parent, but in that respect, the same could be said for me, I wasn’t an engaged daughter. In my childhood, I only saw him a few times a year, and that didn’t change in adulthood. Often when I saw him, it was me visiting him at his shop in our local town.

At 31, I have already grieved for my mother and my grandparents who raised me. Losing a parent or someone who brought you up is devastating. In a way, I am finding my grief harder this time, especially since we hadn’t been speaking. Despite not having regular contact with my dad, I still loved him with all my heart.

Regrets

I have regrets for not making myself a bigger part of his life and regret that we hadn’t talked in so long. Regret that I cant tell him I love him, and hear him tell me, that he loved me.

Part of me is grieving that father-daughter relationship we should have had. The one I see daily when I see Mr T with our children or friends with their parents. I felt the same grief and pain for what ‘should-have-been’ when I lost my mother at eleven. I wish I could go back to my 11-year-old self, give myself a huge hug and tell myself that it’s completely normal.

I used to joke that even a mortgage and four children didn’t make me feel like an adult, but this certainly has. I selfishly hope that I never have to organise another funeral in my life.

Its hard to continue as normal when all I want to do is stop. I purposely have been late on the school run because I can’t face standing in the playground talking. I know this is self-defeating because talking, even about other things helps. Mr T has helped the children decorate for Christmas, but my heart isn’t in it. Only a handful of presents have been bought, and none wrapped. I know I need to face it and start for the sake of the children.

My Rock

Mr T is my rock and without him, I am not sure where I would be. He has chatted and held me while I’ve sobbed into the small hours of the morning. He was by my side all the way through the first night when the grief and a migraine had made me physically sick. He has taken care of the children and diverted them to him when I couldn’t cope, and he’s been by my side as much as he possibly could. Its only in the last few months I have started to feel like I was coping after the anxiety and post-natal depression I felt after Ava’s arrival, and I am worried for the sake of my young family that it will return.

Looking for the positives, the children haven’t been too affected. They are understandably sad and we have chatted regularly about it and how they feel, but they didn’t see their Grandad very much so the hardest part for them has been seeing me so upset.

They say things happen in threes, and maybe that’s true. Our car has also broken down, and we lost a good chunk of our Christmas savings in the nicehash hack that happened around a week ago. But both of those seem so trivial now.

Moving Forward

These are the first photographs I have taken in over 2 weeks. You can’t really tell but it was snowing gently and we were all getting ready to walk to the shop. I saw these four playing outside in the snow wearing matching hats. So I ran back inside to find my neglected camera. In one of the photos, they are catching snowflakes that you cant really see. Sometimes I ask the children to pose for photographs, but this was completely natural and I love that they are all catching snowflakes, although it looks like they are holding an invisible crystal ball or holding a tiny insect!

I could tell my heart wasn’t in it, the settings were wrong and most of the pictures were badly composed, chopping off limbs and on funny angles! But the important thing is the memory captured, not the quality of photo.

I know I need to be strong, and that life must go on, especially for the sake of these four beautiful people.

Living Arrows
“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

13 thoughts on “Through Tears and Pain.”

  1. Non of us can take away how your feeling, but there are many of us that wish we could. Your amazing family just shows us how fabulous you are, your doing an amazing job dealing with all of this and still carring on. You are surrounded by family who love you and will help in any way we can xxx

  2. Hannah, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know what a horrible situation it is you find yourself in, I was estranged from my mother for most of my life and I found out via Facebook that she had died, to this day none of her family have contacted me to tell me. I like you grieved for the relationship we should have had, I also felt very angry at the same time. I know it’s a cliche to say but time really is a great healer, there will always be what if’s but with the love and support of your family you will heal. I just wanted to send you lots of love and let you know what you are not alone xx

  3. You poor thing, this is the most heartfelt post I have read in ages, and it made me feel so sad reading it. There’s little I can say or do from afar, but I’m sending you warm wishes and thoughts, and hope that over time it eases for you x #LivingArrows

  4. Oh I love their hats.

    I don’t think you’ll ever realise how much this post resonates with me. I only met my biological dad at 17 and we saw each other regularly until his wife died in 2012. Since then things have been difficult. We just haven’t been in each other’s lives. He now has a new partner and I know that will mean he’ll step up and play Dad/Grandad a little more but it’s just not who he is – and I find it so hard to accept that. When his wife died I had to ride in the car behind the hearse with a man I hardly knew. When he dies the funeral will be so hard. There isn’t the love there that there is for you with your dad. I have the affection that I would for a long lost aunt or uncle. Not the love someone should have for their father.

  5. Very sorry to hear of your loss.
    Gosh, this post really resonates with me. I haven’t spoken to my Dad for 4 years or seen him for well over 10, heading to 15 years. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if this were me but I suspect much of the grief would be for what could have been, rather than what it was. Don’t be too hard on yourself x

  6. The photos are perfect and as photos should be before the mad world of social media and blogging with its fake elements.
    I am sorry for your loss and know that feelings can be tricky where the relationship was not a straightforward one. My Mum did something really unfair in my view without explanation leaving my Dad to let me know I was cut out of her will despite the fact our relationship was good right until the end. I lost my Dad in 2012 and that was so painful because he was my rock but then again posts and experiences like yours make me realise how lucky I was to have him and to have the joy of living with him for 2 years at the end of his life. I lost my much older brother in August and that was odd because as we had never fallen out there were no weird things to process but equally partly that was because I saw him so little as he was 16 years older and left home when I was about 2 years old. I am sorry that things were not perfect between you and your Dad towards the end but life happens and we all mess up. Just cherish every day with your rock and those beautiful children. My biggest message of all is to take very good care of yourself, reach out for the support you need and write it down if you can’t say it telling people exactly what you need from them and when. Also get to the GP at the first sign of depression. Reach out to me any time if it helps.

  7. Sorry for your loss. However it happens, whatever the background, Christmas always makes it harder. Hopefully your pain and regrets will lessen over time, and that having the children around you at Christmas will help you enjoy some of it at least.

    N has that hat too – it’s really cute, and I love the photos even if they aren’t perfect in your eyes. #livingarrows

  8. Oh I am so sorry. I lost my grandma the week before Christmas last year and it is such a difficult time to process things – you feel guilty for grieving and worry that you might “spoil christmas” for everyone else, you also don’t see your usual contacts like your work colleagues and friends because everyone is tied up doing Christmas things, so it can feel like you don’t have as much of a support network and it can take time for the news to filter around. I really feel for you. The important thing is to grieve in the way that you need to – don’t worry about other people or what you “should” be doing. You have every right to grieve so so your best to care for yourself and make yourself a priority wherever you can.

    Your photos are gorgeous. I think natural ones are the best anyway. And this post spoke so powerfully to someone that they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 xx

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