• Peter

The Loss of a Parent

It’s seven months today since my dad passed away. It was too early for him to go, but then I believe that many people would have the same feelings. For those that have lost parents, we all know that the pain doesn’t ever go away.

There are still days that affect me. You could be doing anything; the grind of the daily routine, and suddenly the memories come back. And it’s tough when they do come back. Those hard days are getting easier, but I know they’ll never go away – and being honest, I don’t want those days to go away.

Grief is a tricky process. Before I’ve only had my grandmothers, but this, of course, is so much more intense. How do people know that they have completed the grief process? Does it ever end?

I’ve read about stages of grief, but I don’t know if I fit in any of them; I’m not angry anymore – even when I was, I don’t know who I was angry at.

I remember the day like it was yesterday; such a cliché, I know, but it’s so true. I’m not going to go into too much detail, as it’s too personal and involves other people, and therefore their feelings. All I know is that my whole body felt numb when I heard. Unfortunately I wasn’t even in the country when it happened; I had just touched down in Germany – literally just touched down. Obviously I felt bad for me, but I felt even worse that I couldn’t be there at that moment for my family who were with him. I know it’s not my fault, but I felt bad at that time. I managed to get back home the following morning which I was relieved about.

The funeral was hard. I had agreed to help carry the coffin into the chapel, but once I took the weight, it was just too heavy and I could feel my shoulder and legs begin to buckle. I couldn’t do it. In the end I walked with the vicar, leading him into the chapel – the best I could do. I managed to get through my speech fairly easily – it helped having loved ones and friends looking on. It was when the final music started that was the most difficult.

Things will get easier.

People often talk about a ‘before’ and ‘after’, and that’s how I seem to be categorising things. Before that March day, things were happy and light, whereas now, there is still that happiness and lightness, but every so often, it is tinged with sadness; but it’s getting easier.

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Peter J Fullagar. Reading, UK.

peterjfullagar@gmail.com

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