Tag Archives: losing a parent


29 Apr


Angry that the grandparents my children will know, grow up with, remember, won’t be MY parents. That the one they will call Grandma won’t be MY mum, the one they will know as Grandad will be someone else’s.

I’m angry that my Mum will be a hazy recollection, snapshots – splintered and one-dimensional – just as my Dad is now just a photo on the fridge. Their absence juxtaposed against a life filled with love and cuddles and memories from their other, “real” grandparents.

I’m angry that it won’t be my mum that picks them up from school, that wraps her arms around them and asks them what their day was like. That she’ll never see the expression on their faces as they unwrap her carefully chosen Christmas present, or heap praise on them when they read their first words.

I’m angry that I will have to live more of my life without her than I have done with. One of the most important people to me – my mother, my best friend – here for just a fraction of my life. Killed off after only the first few chapters.

I’m angry that the person that has been at the centre of my universe for 34 years has been snatched away from me, cruelly, suddenly, and that I have to relearn to live my life without her.

I’m angry that at just 34 I am an orphan.

I’m angry that my “go to person”, my reference point for all the decisions I make, the person at the end of the telephone when I’m feeling unsteady or unsure, has become unavailable. Permanently engaged.

I’m angry that I have to make sense of all of this by myself.

I’m really fucking angry, and my rage is selfish and personal. For now it’s all about me.

Remembering my dad

17 Sep

You never stop missing someone. You just learn to live without them. Grief isn’t a journey from A to B. It isn’t linear. It is much more complex, repetitive, surprising.

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of my father’s death. These are a few things i am remembering about him today.

My father spent an awful lot of his time sitting down. Lazy? Yes, even he’d have to agree with that one, but he’d also have argued convincingly for social anthropology. Observing, mentally jotting down all the nuances of human behaviour as it played out before him. The absurdity of it all frequently amused him. After his funeral his 5 children trundled down to the Marina in Brighton to scatter his ashes. We didn’t really have a plan so we wandered about aimlessly for a bit before deciding to scatter them into the sea off the end of a concrete groyne. As we skidded and slid our way barefoot and dangerously down the groyne (wet, covered in moss, warning signs everywhere) i could see my dad standing at a safe distance, observing, and smirking at us saying “What ARE you doing, you sentimental bunch of fools!”

When he did get up from his chair he would jump up as if stung by a bee. He’d obviously been thinking about the act of getting up for quite some time, psyching himself up, waiting for a build up of energy sufficient to launch him from his observation tower. The fact that it was Gin and Tonic o’clock usually did the trick.

Gordon’s Gin and slimline tonic. Even now the smell of it, the chink of crystal glasses, the plop of ice and the gentle fizz of liquids mixing is enough to send me off on a daydream. “Just a few” he would say as he reached for the dry roasted nuts or cheese and onion crisps that would always be the accompaniment. He’d recount the exact calorific content of each mouthful, slapping your hand away if you so much as dared to reach for seconds, before moments later reaching his soft, chubby little hand out himself. “Pernicious” he would say, winking as he greedily took another handful, shook them around in his palm a few times before throwing them up and into his mouth.

A snapshot. No doubt tomorrow a whole different bunch of memories will play out unexpectedly as i go about my day.

Irreplaceable. A word that only really starts to make sense when you lose someone. I miss you daddy. So much.