Family can be great, it can also be terrible.
The closest people in the world to us can be the people we fear, the people we love and the people we loose.
My family relationships have often been turbulent, I didn’t grow up with my biological family. Although I knew them all well all through my life (other than my biological father), despite that I believe when it comes to family my adopted grandparents, the people who brought me up, the people I refer to as mum and dad are everything I needed, wanted and could of dreamed of.
My Father is kind, generous, sweet and a fighter. He has always put me first and taught me how to live the best life I can. When I went on my first holiday at 11 months old it was my dad behind the camera taking hundreds of photos of everything. When I went to primary school it was my dad who told me to be proud. When I got into university it was my dad who cried out of being proud but not wanting to let me go. When I got my Job, it was my dad who bragged about it to everyone he could find.
Despite all of that, Fathers day is bitter sweet. My dad passed away 18 months ago.
Eighteen months seems a long and also a very short time. It is enough time for me to have recovered from the grief. Its long enough that life seems like its some how normal again. I think about my dad, but not every day. I can remember all the things he has done for me and how much I love him without crying.
But it also means that this is only my second fathers day without a father, and grief comes back in waves. My mum and dad always spoke to me about there age, how really they were not my blood parents and were older, so I should be prepared for them to leave me at an earlier age than most people. My dad died at the age of 81. He lived a long, happy and exciting (to say the least) life. But nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent.
Nothing can prepare you for the phone call, the funeral, the grief or living missing one of the most important people in your life.
So for those of you whose Fathers day looks a little different. To the others visiting a headstone rather than a house, or hiding away instead of celebrating, or just feeling sad. Today is just another day that might be little harder, you are not on your own. Grief can come in waves, sometimes ripples but on days like today it can feel more of a tsunami. Thats OK.
A parent lost is not the end of the memories, the thoughts or the loving relationship.
Take care of yourself. Feel your emotions. Ask for help if you need it.
If you are really struggling with Bereavement and need some extra support, you can find specialist services here.