Granddad Dan Turns On The Sunshine
It’s The ‘It’s’ That Are The Hardest – Losing a Parent
The clock on the front room mantlepiece reads 10 pm. It was at exactly this time a year ago today I got the call. It was one that I knew was coming, the one that told me my dad had passed away.
Losing a Parent
This morning my wife asked what the hardest thing is about losing a parent, and I couldn’t answer. There isn’t just the ‘one thing’. It’s the tonne of little things that come at the least expected of times.
It’s the phone number still being in my mobile, but knowing it will never ring again.
It’s the having to correct myself between past and present tense when I talk about him, and the wave of sadness that hits me when I realise, and I admit to myself which one of them it is.
It’s the knowing that my son will, despite our efforts, only have vague actual memories of him. But he has memories, and that is what counts right?
It’s the seeing the sadness, hidden by the ‘Yes, of course, I am alright’ that is indelibly etched onto the faces of those I love who still haven’t touched the sides of the grief.
It’s the times when I catch sight of one of his photos on the wall and automatically smile. Then the comedown afterwards, as the smile fades quickly fades away, as I know I won’t be able to make that big lovely face crease up in laughter again.
It’s the fact that the only time that I can hear his voice is in my dreams and I have no control of when that happens and can’t remember it when I wake.
It’s the walking around the shops in the midst of the Christmas mayhem, seeing little things and think ‘Oh I’ll get that for Dad’ and then knowing there is nowhere to send it.
It’s the wanting him to know how happy and proud I am that he was my Dad but having never having told him to his face.
It’s the knowing that I am never going back to the house that I spent over twenty years of my life and that someone else is now enjoying the garden he spent years designing in his head.
The amount of ‘it’s’ are endless and that the hardest thing.
What I’ve known. is today is coming, I couldn’t really forget it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. Now it’s here and nearly over it hasn’t been what I expected at all. I christened it “Do something nice for Granddad Dan day” and that’s what it said in the diary. I’ve now changed it to “Do something nice with Granddad Dan day”.
Every year on this day from now on, we are going do something nice. I am going to try and not to see the day coming with dread. I am going to have an adventure and explore somewhere new, and my dad is coming with us. You see, I couldn’t really explain his death to my three-year-old. I told him the reason we don’t see his granddad anymore is because “Granddad Dan now lives in the clouds and has a job turning on the sunshine”. It’s that sunshine that stays with us every day.