Bye Granddad: One year later

It’s been a year since you left.

I still don’t understand what that means, you left in so many ways. You left your body, you left this world, you left us, you left me.

Death is a natural process of life, the only inevitable thing, natural and normal. Yet unnatural and abnormal.

The space you once called home, is where I live now, and even though the same number of people inhabit it now as before, it is emptier, the life has gone from it. Rooms are just walls, books are just paper. Their life force was you and now that you’re gone, their meaning has gone.

Grandma doesn’t live their anymore, she felt the loneliness of that place without you. You made that house a home for her, now it’s just a house. She lives by the sea, remember how she used to dream of living by the sea? Her dream came true, and I wish you could be enjoying it with her.

I don’t think she knows who I am anymore. I promised you I’d look after her, but I don’t know how, and I’ve failed. I’ve failed to do the one thing that you needed me to do. I can’t do it. When she looks at me, she doesn’t see me. I don’t know who she sees. She knows what I look like, who I am, but every piece of my personality recognisable to her died with you.

I’m sorry. Every day I’m sorry, and mostly I don’t know what for. I just have no idea how to make this pain go away. It’s not ok to talk about, and everyone thinks I’m fine. I smile, put on my make up like its some sort of mask, if I look different, maybe I’ll be different, someone who is not broken, is not lost, not left behind. But it’s a lie, some people are tricked but those closest to me are not fooled, but it’s too hard for them to deal with. I don’t want to be a problem to the people I love.

They’ve moved on I think. They all have a purpose in their lives, and good for them, seeing them happy makes me heal a little bit, but I feel like no one has noticed that in my head I’m still holding your hand, feeling your last pulse, hearing your last breath, see you look at me for a moment then look away. Gone. I’ve never left that room, left that second. I want to leave it behind, but I cling onto that moment as the last moment I was with you.

My life has gone on, and somehow a year has passed. There is so much of it I feel I’ve missed, the time has just gone, and I don’t know what happened. I’m just here a year later, and everything other than you going, feels like a dream, like it could just be imaginary and yet that is not true.

People like to tell me, how strong I am. In their eyes they see someone turning their life around, I quit my job to do a degree, I don’t talk about you, so therefore you can’t affect me. Yet my degree is in History, a passion you and I shared, whereas before I was on course to be a chef. It is conflicting that before you left my life had no direction, and now it has potential, but at a price I never wanted to pay.

I wish I could talk to you, well, I wish you could talk to me. To hear your voice, the person who was more of a Dad to me than my own Dad was at times, although now I think Dad’s the only person who understands me. I just wish he would talk to me more. Anyway, you are the only person who’s actually been through the same pain, the only person who would truly know what this feels like. I wonder now, if you wished when your Dad died that you could talk to someone who knew the exact same relationship and the exact same pain, and yet it was your own death that created the only other person that that could have been possible with. It’s ironic and cruel, that at the time we should have  been closest we were separated by the vale between heaven and earth, whatever that actually means.

I feel that one day I will heal, but I know that I am forever changed. At the moment I am numb to the world and I can only hope that doesn’t continue, I do try my best. My heart broke when you died and at the moment its barely holding together, but if I keep it together, it might heal, and the joins might be stronger than they were before.

I don’t blame you, like I said its part of life to die. I’ve accepted that. The only thing left for me to say now is thank you. Thank you for being so important in my life and making it so happy that when you left this is what remained. I owe you everything, and I hope that part of your soul is now in mine, that by my actions and my decisions you are still alive in a sense. I miss you. Everyday. And I will not forget you ever. I love you always, your Catherine.

Acceptance

I’ve had a really bad day today, I won’t go into detail, it’s just been an awful day. No doubt it is far better that what most people experience and possibly it’s worse than what others experience. But for me it’s been a really bad day. 

I’m not here to talk about my bad day though, I’m here to talk about everyone’s bad days. We all have them, we all cry, we all get angry and wish we could start the day again and change things. But we can’t. No matter how much we wish it. 

It’s this that got me thinking about the power of acceptance. Often when bad things happen in our lives we don’t know what to do next, it takes a while to get over these things and it’s important that we do. Acceptance is a way of gaining back control because it is a choice. It’s a choice to accept all the bad things. Accept that they changed us, accept that they were unfair, accept that we hated every second of going through it. 

It’s easy for other people to tell us “it’s in the past, there’s nothing you can do” this is often more frustrating. It’s obviousness is what’s so frustrating because of course we know that but that’s exactly what the problem is. 

Through choosing to accept what has happened we can bring ourselves back to our present which is exactly where we need to be. What happens tomorrow is tomorrow’s problem and in a way that is acceptance too. It must be said though that acceptance is hard and can only be done when a person is ready but it’s power to heal should never be underestimated.