June the 19th this year, probably the 18th last year and most likely the 20th next year. I don’t care what day it is, I know that I will be hiding in the house.
There are lots of people out there like me. We are grieving for our lost loved ones, and always will be. This year June the 19th is father’s day and, without my hero here to spoil, I will yet again be grieving over my loss.
It never ever gets any easier for people like us. There is always some reminder of that massive part of our lives that is missing. Special days like the 19th June, birthdays, Christmas and those special occasions that may or may not happen in our future. I will always grieve for not being able to share days, moments and mile stones with him.
I can’t tell you when I lost my father because I can’t remember. I believe that is one of my coping mechanisms – simply to stop thinking. However what I can tell you is that it is probably more than five years, but less than ten years.
His death was sudden and unexpected; the shock still chokes me now. At the beginning the main concern was my mother and brother, and somewhere along the way I forgot to look after myself. Then by the time I realised the overwhelming power of my grief, the only concern people ever expressed towards me, was in the form of the question: ‘How is your mother? I got used to it. I got used to what I still feel is a total lack of concern to my well being. I will always grieve. Some days my grief is so dark it consumes me. No one knows this because no one ever asks. Like I said, I am used to it.
However, when you find yourself alone on most fathers’ day since you lost your dad, things don’t get so easy, and the grief can take over.
It is just another day – sure. But it is a day when Facebook is not even a place you can escape and watch funny cat videos. Your time line is filled with photos of happy family scenes that break your heart. So you avoid that.
Restaurants are full of generations of families enjoying their precious moments together, bouncing great grandchildren on their knees. I would absolutely do anything to have such a beautiful scene to call my own. But it is not possible, so I avoid that.
I can’t even walk my dog, without bumping into ‘father of the year’.
Everybody has a unique way of dealing with their grief – mine is not likely to be the same as yours. But that is ok. I have accepted that I am not allowed to be selfish with my grief. However, on June the 19th, where the reminders of my loss will be drowning me, I will be selfish. I shall wallow in bed until the late morning, and eat my lunch in my pjs while I cry on and off throughout the day, in the safety of my own home, away from judgemental eyes. You know what? That’s also ok.
It is also ok to reach out to people like me. If you have friends like me, who you know will feel like that they have to lock themselves away – reach out to them. It is ok to send a text saying I’m thinking of you, some emojis or a rude joke. It doesn’t matter, just having you thinking of them will lift their spirits. Trust me.
I do not begrudge anyone their special day. I only wish I had realised just how very precious days like the 19th of June were. I believe that life can be unfair, that it is short, and that it is extremely precious. It is with this in mind, that I wish you the most beautiful 19th June with your loved ones. Love and cherish them, make memories and spend quality time together.