Another ‘not quite a poem’ list.
Five things I know about grief.
- Sudden death is a cliche. When my brother broke the news my first thought was, “But he can’t be dead. I only saw him yesterday.”
- Grief is selfish. My second thought was about my wedding and how he wouldn’t walk me down the aisle and how I would never hear his speech. And then I thought about how I’d would never have the chance to make him proud of me. I would carry the weight of his disapproval to my grave.
- Loss is private and there are only so many times you can say “My Dad died. He dropped dead in the street at the age of 67. Yes it was a shock.” Eventually someone asks you how you are and you just say “Fine.”
- There is more than enough anger to go round. I was angry at him, I was angry at myself, I was angry at life. I was angry at my Mother and my brothers because I knew I was the odd one out. I was angry at my children because they got the best of him. I was angry at my beloved because he had a living father and a step-dad to spare. For months I was angry at every man older than 67 because how dare they be alive when my father was dead.
- The dead never leave you. I dreamt of him for years. I dreamed that he was still with us, that he still walked and talked and told jokes and played with his grandchildren and we just didn’t tell him that he was dead and that he shouldn’t still be here. And every time I would wake up and feel that loss again.