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Thank you so much for your message. I’ve found, sadly, that most people are so wrapped up in their own lives that they don’t really care. I have one friend who was actually willing to listen and not afraid to talk about death – and this is because she’d lost both her parents too, so she understood the pain, and she lives on the other side of the world, but I am so grateful for her!
So in answer your question, firstly I’d cried and sobbed literally every day for the first 6 weeks. I wasn’t afraid to do so as I knew the old saying about ‘there’s no way over, under or around grief – you have to go THROUGH it’. Luckily I’m not working at the moment so I had the space to do that but know that if I had been it would’ve been very difficult for me. I have an old jumper of his – one that he’d actually worn when I was a baby (I have a photo of him wearing it and holding me) so at night, in bed, I’d just hug it for comfort. I also lit a candle every night next to his photos and poured through old photo albums. At around the 6 weeks mark I realised that I’d just about ran out of tears and it was OK to stop now. I knew that my dear Dad would hate to see me in so much pain and could just imagine him in my mind telling me to be strong and that I had to pick myself up and carry on. The realisation and acceptance also settled on me that it was the natural order of things – although it was totally unexpected, he was almost 82 years old and had lived an extraordinary life having lived in Australia as a young man, travelled so much of the world and had a loving family back in the UK where he passed away. He’d lived a big and (mostly) happy life so I would be happy and grateful for that. At the service someone described him in their eulogy as being a ‘tall oak tree of strength and resolve’ – he was exactly that, he was 6’4″ and had such a presence and as his daughter I can only hope to have inherited some of the same. I miss him dearly every day and just wish the phone would ring (he was the only person to use the landline) and now I have a tear writing that but I have to accept things as they are – he has now passed the batten on to me.