Monday April 29th marked the 5th anniversary of my Dad’s death, I can’t believe it’s been that long. Grief has become a little easier with the passing of time; I remember him with deep affection when I think of how funny he was or recognise his smile on my son’s face. However, the sharp pain of his loss will sneak up on me just when I think I’m doing fine. Suddenly the world will seem like a bleak, drab place without him. It still hurts like hell but I am determined to remember how much we loved each other. Sometimes when I’m struggling, I’ll ask Dad to stand next to me. I don’t believe in the after life, I suppose I’m trying summon the strength that he passed on to me. It makes me feel that there is someone powerful and kind at my side, ready to catch me if I trip.
Today I’m on Griefcast, Cariad Lloyd’s brilliant podcast where she talks to actors, writers and comedians about their experiences of grief. I was thrilled to be a part of it; I listen to podcasts all the time and Griefcast is one of my favourites. It is imperative that the conversation about grief is open and free as there is still much misunderstanding around the grieving process, most of which comes from the expectation that it goes away. When Dad died, I expected that one day, my grief would end and I’d feel better. Five years on, I have accepted that I’ll never get over it. This isn’t to say that it makes me miserable all the time, it absolutely does not. But grief is constant, forever reminding me that there is someone missing who will never be replaced. Carrying the pain after years have gone by can lead to a feelings of failure or emotional frailty. I think acknowledging grief is a sign of strength and honesty. Better to recognise that pain and let it out; when it is released, the memories of the treasured person are easier to recall. Rather than expecting myself to move on I try live the best life I can, in his memory. Grief is the cost of love and I would rather miss my dad than not to have had him at all.