Coping with grief and loss
I should probably start this post off with a little warning. This post is an extremely personal one, and one that I have been trying to decide if I should write or not. I’ve decided that I should. There might be someone out there that is currently experiencing grief. I apologise in advance for the long ramble you might be about to read. I wrote this on September 5th. It also explains my absence from this blog and social media for the last month or so.
Today is my fathers funeral. But I am not there.
To some that may seem like a strange way to start a blog post. In fact I know it is but I don’t know any other way to start it.
I grew up without a father, some of you might remember I wrote a little about that here. My mum brought me up along with my grandparents, (her parents) who we lived with until I was 16. I have no memories of my dad. I’ve seen various pictures of my parent’s wedding and them together so I knew what he looked like. But apart from that I didn’t know what he sounded like, what his hobbies and interests were, or what his favourite food was. Growing up I never had any contact with him. I never received birthday cards or presents. We stayed in contact with, and saw my grandparents on his side, up until about 8 years ago. When my grandpa passed away we were told about it, but that was it. No invite, nothing. That was actually the last time we heard from them. Until two weeks ago.
I was shopping in Tesco’s at the time when my mum called me. She said grandma had just called her but that it probably wouldn’t be a good time to talk. I told her to carry on because I really wasn’t expecting her to say what she said. My dad had died of a massive heart attack a few days before. I didn’t know what to say so I told my mum I would ring her back and hung up. As I turned to Jess, I burst into tears and ran out of the shop leaving him with the basket and Clem on the way out. I was confused and in shock. Not just with the news I had received but I didn’t understand why I was crying. My heart was racing and I was struggling to breathe.
Why was I crying for a man I’d never even known?! I realise that might come across as sounding incredibly harsh but it was what I was thinking at the time. Grief is a strange feeling. It’s even weirder when you are grieving for someone who you never even knew. It definitely doesn’t make it easy to understand. You can google pretty much anything but trust me when I say if you ask google how to deal with an absent parent dying, you don’t get many results.
I didn’t go the funeral because I thought it would be weird. Also I wasn’t sure how I would feel. I don’t regret not going, I think it was the right thing to do. Although since then I have found out that I was his official next of kin. He had remarried but got divorced, they never had children. So I’ve had to spend the last few weeks sorting some things out and I decided to take some time out from social media and blogging to deal with it.
Yes, this post is extremely personal. I just find writing everything down easier than talking about it. I could keep it private but this blog is a place where I share things and experiences. Dealing with the death of someone is never easy. Grief has many stages, 5 in fact, and can last for a long time. However I’m doing ok. If you’ve taken the time to read this thank you.