To look at me, i’m your everyday happy go lucky girl. I take life day by day and i live each one like it was my last. I don’t do anything extravagant, but i laugh, a lot. The quote ‘A smile can hide a thousand tears’ speaks to me so much, we all have them, those days that we’re smiling but not because we want to, but because it’s easier. Maybe we are doing it to be strong for someone else, maybe we’re doing it to try and fool ourselves or maybe we’re just doing it in the hope we will escape the questions and the pity party that comes with it. It’s been 15 years, wow that’s the first time in a while I’ve actually sat down and thought about how long it’s been. 15 years?! Yet i feel like it was only yesterday we were travelling from Germany to Wales with Barbie Girl playing on repeat, me being barbie, him being ken. I had sass as a child.
That man in question, is my dad. Losing somebody that close to you at the age of five is hard, i remember crying but i don’t remember what for. I remember crying for years afterwards randomly as realisation sunk in of what this actually meant. It’s hard being the only daddy’s girl in school without a daddy, you know? Even now i have to have a little cry to myself, because yes you’ll move on with your life, you’ll not spend the majority of your time thinking about it. But it doesn’t heal you. It doesn’t take everything away, you just learn to deal with it. Once you’re older it’s the little things that will get to you, for example i’m now engaged, where’s my dad to walk me down the aisle? Yes i have a step-dad, and an amazing one at that. He took me and my mum on when he didn’t need to when all of this was still quite fresh. But it is still meant to be your real dad who gets to see you on your wedding day and tell you how beautiful you look. Or when you’ve done something as little as pass an exam or been promoted at work and you want to ring your dad, but you can’t. Sometimes even the question of ‘so what does your dad do’ (which you get all the time because obviously people don’t know i don’t go around carrying a sign) can set you off.
I have however, over time, learnt how to deal with this. I don’t cry very much about it at all, if anything i spend my time smiling twice as hard as if i was smiling for the both of us. I’m not an expert on this but i sure am a victim of life and all it’s hurdles and here are some of my best ways of coping, that may just help you too.
Cry. This one may seem obvious but for many people crying is a sign of weakness. They want to be strong as i say for other people and many other reasons. But sometimes you just need to cry, even if it’s by yourself. Let it all out, take a deep breath and then go on with your day as you would normally. The easiest way to self destruct is to not let yourself feel grief, pushing it aside doesn’t make it go away it just leaves it there bubbling, waiting to erupt when you’re least expecting it.
Write it down. Write your feelings down, i know when i was younger i felt anger about the whole situation. Why did he leave me? What did i do to deserve this? I felt deep deep sadness. And i was extremely jealous of anybody who had what i didn’t turning me sometimes into a over-thinking irrational person! Writing it down gives you a chance to vent, get your feelings out there and get them in line. Find out where your anger, jealously, or sadness is stemming from and nipping it in the bud the best you can. Or at least being aware of what it is making you feel that way.
Talk to someone. If you feel comfortable with this it’s sometimes the better option other than writing it down, paper won’t hug you. A friend or a relative definitely will. My Fiance, is who i turn to the most if i’m feeling down and he will patiently just listen to me. Sometimes you need someone to tell you you’re not being stupid for feeling like this, especially when it’s been a long time and you may feel a little silly like you should be over it. Or just to simply put their arm around you and bring you a cup of tea.
Remember. Death is surrounded with negativity, of course it is, it’s horrendous. But yet it is a part of every day life and that will never change, you have to fight that negativity that will unfortunately creep into your mind and think about everything that you loved about that person. What made them so great? What did you do together? What did you feel like when you were with them, safe, happy, in love even? Take all those thoughts and leave your mind with nothing but happiness, you’ll find you’ll end up smiling. Not even a tear in sight.
Imagine they are watching down on you. I’m not religious at all, but i like to think my dad is with me when i need him and watching me through life. If i’m feeling down i have my little cry and then i think ‘What if he’s watching me now’ and i smile. The last thing my dad would want is to be the reason i’m not smiling. It is the same with whoever you’ve lost, the last thing they will want is to be the reason you’re down, they’d want to see you happy, enjoying life to the full and i see it as i’m smiling for the both of us.
If you ever want a chat, or you want someone to listen please contact me on my email on my contact page and i would be more than happy to talk to you. I’ve had 15 years of this so for me it’s easy to say it will get easier because it’s not raw anymore, but believe me it once was. Oh and never, never let anybody tell you when it’s time to stop grieving. You’ll do it in your own time, you’ll probably never stop completely grieving but it does get easier and you’ll become a stronger person for it.