It's been 5 years today since you left for Heaven yet only feels like yesterday we met for our regular coffee date. I would sit constantly looking around for judging mums as you shared most of your chocolate donut with Jack who was not even one and probably not meant to have those things yet. He turned out ok so I broke the rules with Eva and Franklin as well! Only five minutes into our coffee and catchup that we were interrupted by a known friend or someone that knew you. At the time it would annoy me they bothered my time with you but I see that differently now. Our coffee was generally followed by shopping in which you would end up buying yourself another pair of shoes and convincing me to hold them when we met up with mum. She always knew by the way, that's part of being a wife. She just liked you to think she was unaware.
It seemed you knew what played on Cam and my mind and unlike anyone else saw that we were completely lost moving back from London where we couldn't seem to get ourselves settled. The night you knocked on our door to come in for a cup of tea, you would change our lives and be brave for us by sitting us down and saying what I didn't and what Cam couldn't admit to.... "You have outgrown Adelaide and you should take the job in Sydney." That would have been so hard for you to say after only just getting us back for us to leave again. But like you said, we would still be in the same Country and if I didn't work out, you wouldn't be sad to see us move back again. Cam rang his new boss that night after you left and for the first time in months, I slept with a peaceful mind and settled heart. Yet here we are now, so grateful for that night but if we knew you wouldn't be here 7 months later, we wouldn't have gone. Life would be so different and although I would have my family around the corner, I couldn't imagine not having the friends who are my family here in Sydney, in our lives today. So did you know? Were you given a tiny hint by God above to push us in the right direction?
When you came over in January as skinny as you were and telling us that you had some kind of blockage in your stomach and all the options that it could be, I didn't think you were serious. You had never been really sick before and at 60 I didn't imagine something like this coming so soon. When you hugged me at the airport and a tear fell onto my face I told you to not be silly and start me off. We laughed although I now recognise the feeling I had back then in the pit of my stomach. It was worry.
12 weeks from that hug, the last I would get from you standing, came with a weight of absolute confusion, sadness and desperation. You see I thought right up until the second you died that you would get better. You were a minister and had prayed and helped enough sick people for you to be granted a sick pass. It is only now that all this time including when you were sick I pushed the emotion down because there was nothing to deal with. If I had known how sick you really were I wouldn't have left your side during the twelve weeks you had. I guess no one knew even the doctors how much time you really had. If I had accepted that you were leaving us then I would have been braver to talk to you during the three days I got with you before you left. Instead I sat there and waited for you to get out of bed. Almost like it was all a joke seeing as everything was always a joke or a laugh with you. I wish when mum walked me back into your room for my turn to say goodbye by myself I would have told you things. That it was an honour to be your daughter. That I was the luckiest girl in the world to have my own Dad walk me down the aisle and marry me as well. That you provided for me everything I needed in life and loved me and our family the way you never were as a child. That I got my dream job and husband because you were my biggest fan. That you always knew what was best for me and my little family even when we couldn't see it. And that I loved you and wish you had stayed a bit longer to meet the rest of your grand kids and to have you around for coffees when we visited. I didn't say those things but I believe that you knew my heart and your place in it.
After you left, life got a bit tough. I remember opening the door to our house in Sydney and for the first time feeling utterly alone. I know I wasn't because I had Cam, and Jack and my pregnancy was a great distraction but no one here knew you. If I talked about you I cried and crying became exhausting so I stopped. No one here would really get it because as much as they loved me, their sadness was for me and not you. I didn't want anyone to be sad for me, I wanted everyone to see how great the loss of you was. While so many in Adelaide mourned for you, Sydney stayed busy and I joined in. For two years that would be the last I would cry for knowing it was too painful and I needing to stay in control for my kids. Five years on and I'm not the perfect griever but two years of pushing down any grief and sadness took its toll on me physically and emotionally. Refusing to talk about you and any feelings pretty much turned my emotions off completely. I always felt cold because I was. I learned how to put on a show as the extrovert in me is good at doing and stayed in control and organised in every aspect of my life. I learned how to change the subject and how to hold my breath when I felt any feeling rising inside me. No matter what I tried, my body needed and wanted to grieve. It wanted to deal with my sadness so I could function and deal with everything in the most normal sense. When I started having night terrors and stopped sleeping, that is when my body took over and I was having to deal with it ready or not. A phone call from my friend telling me she had booked me in for counselling and that the next move was up to me, I took the step and went.
Like I said before I'm not the perfect griever and I say that more so because you don't really ever stop. It doesn't matter who you lost in your life, if you loved them immensely and your world is sad without them then you will have moments for the rest of your life where you will grieve them. I hate when people say it get's easier. It's actually the worse thing you could say to me because it doesn't. I think it gets harder because you have moments where you suddenly remember them and feel horrible about how for the last two months you haven't thought about them in the business of life. For a long time I felt guilty laughing or smiling because I didn't want you to think I had got over it. I won't say to it gets easier, I will say, it gets less frequent and that's ok.
Most of my walls have come down when family and friends talk about you and I can actually have a conversation about you without worrying or caring when the tears show up afterwards. I have started to see you differently. Those annoying interruptions by friends during our coffee dates were because other people loved you (almost) as much as I did. You were never home because your life was devoted to caring and loving others. That was your calling, and at the time it was my annoyance, but now my pride. People saw you as their father, their friend and their brother and you shone a light that drew them to you. How could I be anything but proud that so many wanted your guidance and love that I automatically had and would always have without asking. You were a father to friends who needed one like you at the time, and a friend to so many who theirs had given up on. And I get to say now and for the rest of my life, that was what my Dad was like. A human like the rest of us with your own challenges, hardships and battles but none of these would ever take away from your giant love for others and as I write to you today, that is the quality I want in my life until the day I leave for Heaven. Three words I can never seem to say aloud and even now my hands shake writing them but.... I miss you.
Love always and forever,
Your Daughter Kell aka Wobbs xx
If you have lost someone in your life can I encourage you to talk about it with a friend or through a counsellor, write about it or cry about it. The effects of pushing down grief can physically and emotionally harm your body in many ways. Grief can come in different forms but if you can find a way to get through it you will in time have moments that will put tears in your eyes and memories that will put a smile on your face.
© The Realistic Mum
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