Yesterday would have been Dads 59th birthday. This time last year he was still here, I sent him a message to say I would like to catch up and start making amends when he returned from his trip. Less than a week later, he was in a fatal car accident in Thailand and never came home.
I’ve never experienced any loss like this, and would be quite content never to again. It’s like a punch in the guts, with an aching emptiness in the days and weeks which follow. I still think I see him, that I should call to tell him about a cafe he’d like, and scan the number of every ABC Taxi I see incase it’s him.
My brain hasn’t caught up yet. It’s that simple. I don’t know if it ever will. Most of my day was just a normal day but through the afternoon something changed and I could feel myself slowly, gradually falling apart. By 6pm I was constantly leaking tears, sobbing through cooking dinner. After dinner with my siblingsat one of Dads favourites I just couldn’t go home, so went to another of his regular places where they have a memorial stool. I sat in the cold because I couldn’t bare to be so close to other people. I had a glass of red, sitting on his stool and wrote him a letter:
First up, happy 59th birthday!! I hope you’re having a good old party up there with Nana. I’ve popped in to see your friends at 2Stews, didn’t seem right just going home to bed without having a drink with you.
It’s been almost a year now, and some days it could be yesterday that you left us, other days I still forget you’re not here. Those days it’s like a punch in the gut and all the feels come back. There has been so much heartache, but so much good in the past year.
You’ve left one hell of a legacy, I still have patients who knew you and extol the generosity and love you brought to their lives. Then there are people who haven’t heard and I scramble to explain to them gently what my brain still hasn’t processed.
Being a parent this past 18 months has given me a hell of a lot of insight, and I’m so sorry, I know that love now and I understand. You’ve taught me so very much and have no doubt that I will instill many of your lessons into my own in the coming years.
I hate to say that any good came of your leaving, but I think the bond as a family is stronger than I’ve ever known it. Not just among the five of us but with our aunts, uncles, counsins and even our grandparents. Your passing has truly taught me the immediate fragility of every day, and I try to make the most of every minute, as I know you did.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss you, how much I wish I could spend just a short time saying all the things I didn’t have maturity or insight to say when it mattered. I love you so much, and feel your absence every day.
Look after Nana for me, she’s still new there but I know she’s in good hands having you to show her around.
I love you, to infinity and back.