Blog a Day 102of365: Another Anniversary

Today is 2 years since my Dad died. It’s weird to think it’s been 2 years. Part of me thinks that’s a long time and I should be through the crappiness by now, the other part of me accepts that 2 years is nothing when you’ve been used to the person you love being around your entire life.

I didn’t expect it but in many ways the second year and now has been harder than the first year. It’s not as obvious as it was but it’s there lingering. The first year I spent most of the time in a bit of a haze, muddling through and just being grateful when I survived difficult things like birthdays and Christmas, or even more normal things like surviving seeing a film my Dad particularly enjoyed. The second year though, I feel more pressurised into being ‘myself’ again.

I feel like I’m expected to really enjoy things again, to be as excited as I always was. It just doesn’t happen though. While some days are comparatively normal, I still dreaded Christmas, I still carefully sidestep seeing sad films or seeing the few remaining films that my Dad really loved. I’m just more subtle about it. I’m only really subtle as I figure a) people probably don’t want to hear about it as much anymore and b) I feel a bit like I’m now meant to get on with life even if I don’t feel at full strength again yet. I guess it says a lot that excluding my workmates, the only people that know about this anniversary are friends on Twitter and whoever’s reading this. It feels like an awkward topic to mention so I don’t. Work only know because they had to know although credit to them for being brilliant about it all.

I actually found my Dad’s birthday much, much harder than the last time. My only thinking behind that is because last time/the first time, I was just pleased to get through the day. This time round I have all these doubts as to whether I should be dealing with it better or not. There’s a little rational side of my brain that figures I’m holding down a job, I’m trying to make some money writing (and failing admittedly) and I do have more good days than bad days, but the doubts are still there. My Aunt’s spent most of the weekend crying over my Dad and she didn’t live with him and didn’t see him die, so I guess I’m probably doing ok.

I think maybe part of it is that I need to accept that it’s going to be a slow process and also, without trying to sound melodramatic, I’m not going to be the person I was before that day.

That’s actually a very scary thought but one that I’m also grudgingly accepting. Obviously various elements of me will remain but I’ve no doubt that I’m a hell of a lot more sensitive than I used to be, as well as fiercely protective of my mother. It’s the little things that probably aren’t obvious if you’re not in my head. I’m more insecure, I know how to put an act on and to ‘hide’, my perspective on an awful lot of things has completely changed and I’m worried that I won’t be as care free as I was then. Ultimately it’s that feeling in the back of my head that I’m not going to be the person I was when I went to bed April 11th 2008 which is a horrible thought considering it was all out of my control. I can’t really say that I’ll always be like this ‘new’ me. Hopefully as time goes on, I’ll change for the better. Some of those elements will always remain though. Something I’ll have to live with no doubt. At least I’m probably stronger than I used to be even if sometimes I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

I was going to post a photo of my Dad but chose not to. My favourite recent picture of him is one I took while home for the weekend when I lived in Stafford for a year. My Mum was trying to show him how to play a game on the DS (Zoo Keeper I think) so they were sitting together with her guiding him. It was a special photo as it was just of them both normal. They weren’t posing, they weren’t dressed up. It was just them: my parents. The fact it was a photo that no one else has seen or been witness to makes it that bit more special. A moment in time I guess where everything was good.

Anyway, enough therapy based rambling. Best face the day properly!

4 thoughts on “Blog a Day 102of365: Another Anniversary

  1. Mike Grant

    Hi Jen,

    I have absolutely no idea if this will help or hinder, but I thought I’d tell you about my wife’s former best mate Karia.

    Karia’s mother died three years ago. Before it happened, Karia was med-repping and on a lot of money. Her career was solid, and she was really good at what she did. Her family pretty much all had underlying alcohol problems, but she had successfully broken out of it. But then her mother died of a long illness brought on by alcoholism, and everything changed.

    Entering a cycle of depression, unable to cope with the loss, Karia lost her driving licence because she drove while horribly drunk and hit a car on the motorway. That led to her losing her job, which led to her losing her home when she didn’t feel motivated to get a new one, which led to her going back to Northern Ireland where she ended up in a cycle of drink and drugs that she still hasn’t emerged from. She simply hasn’t got over the death of her mother and is a completely different person.

    Now, the reason I’m telling you this depressing story is to show that even though you’re unsure of the person you’ve become (or are becoming) and that you have bad days, you have – from what I’ve read – coped very well indeed and you shouldn’t forget that. 🙂

  2. Dani

    I don’t think anyone can reasonably say you should be over it. Does anyone ever really get over the loss of a loved one? Let alone seeing them go, experiencing something as traumatic as you did.

    Keep going Jen, your dad would be so, so proud of you 🙂


  3. Jeffrey Matulef

    As someone who’s never lost a loved one I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but my heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing and keep on writing.

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