Life after Bobby: Month 2

So time moves on, it’s actually ten weeks today that Dad died but I wasn’t really in the mood to blog last week which would have been two calendar months. I can’t believe that it’s two months already, the list of things I’d have liked to share with Dad grows, my sense of his loss is up and down – some days he’s in my mind all the time, then occasionally I catch myself and realise I’ve not thought about him for a day or two.

I’ve allowed myself some time to think, really think, about what I’d like to do with my life from here on in. I feel an immense freedom and there is a considerable part of my brain or psyche that is encouraging me to travel. I think it may be a coping mechanism to some extent, it always feels good to be on the move in some way. Simultaneously it fills me with an excitement and sense of adventure and I don’t think there are many opportunities in life to really reassess where you are at. I’m lucky that the only true dependent I have is Mogs and that I’ve lived a modest enough existence to have built up some savings to afford me time. I’ll blog about this another time but I feels necessary and sensible to take the opportunity of Dad’s death to reassess life. At the same time as reassessing I’ve also been hit by an almost pathological need to de-clutter. It’s like I want to shed things from life, literally and metaphorically. The local charity shops aren’t complaining and I’ve been e-baying some bits and donating a percentage of sales to Rowcroft, the hospice that supported Dad and us.

Mum is doing amazingly, she seems to have sorted all the practicalities and one great piece of news this week was that the retiring collection at Dad’s funeral raised £911.03 for the Hospice at Home appeal. It’s such a huge amount of money, especially considering Dad was a postman – not some executive with well heeled friends. I know he’d be chuffed to bits with that news. I also know he’d be pleased that Rowcroft are going to use an extract from the blog post I wrote shortly after he died, this one, to include in their six monthly newsletter. I feel really privileged that they want to use it, but also hope that it might reassure other people who find themselves in our situation, and maybe even raise some more money for the appeal.

The other thing of note that has happened since Dad died is Christmas. It was hard to have Christmas without him, but probably not as bad as I was expecting. My sister was down at Mum’s with her husband and two children, which made for a grateful distraction. It’s hard to be sad at Christmas when you have a two year old obsessed with presents, giving them as well as receiving them. The one thought I couldn’t shake at Christmas was how lucky we were that Dad died in November. It’s hard to deal with death at any time of year, but two of my twitter friends lost their parents close to Christmas and my heart went out to them, I feel very grateful that we’d had some time to grieve before we had to try and be happy again.

Wendy house snowIn Summer 2011 Dad built my niece a wendy house in my sister’s garden, every bit of it lovingly hand crafted by Grandad. Last week she posted this photo on facebook, it brought a tear to my eye, but in a good way. Dad would have been so proud to see it in the snow, almost as much as the photos that followed of Libbie on her sledge and with her snowman.

Life isn’t the same without him but I’m glad we’re able to talk about him and remember him, and that he is so present in our everyday lives. To quote Victor Frankl:

In some respects it is death itself that makes life meaningful. Most importantly, the transitoriness of life cannot destroy its meaning because nothing from the past is irretrievably lost. Everything is irrevocably stored.

0 comments on “Life after Bobby: Month 2”

zobby2000 says:

Hi George, I just wanted to say how interesting Ive found
your blog, and – in a way – very comforting. My Dad passed away
from Bile duct cancer on the 4th January. It was a mercifully brief
illness – diagnosed in June 2012 and was driving and walking round
until Christmas. Last couple of weeks he went very weak, tired and
breathless and had to be helped around the house but was still in
good spirits and was relatively mobile and in little pain until the
end. We’ve had the funeral and have done all the ‘admin’ and it
does get easier with each day – even though there’s always going to
be a massive hole where Dad was. Myself, my Mum and Sister are all
pulling together and i think we’ll be OK. I don’t know why I wanted
to write to you but its nice to see someone whose had a similar
experience and hope it helps you a bit to know there are other out
there going through whats you’ve had to do. Take care.

Hi Zobby2000, thanks so much for getting in touch and taking the time to leave a comment. I love blogging but I love knowing people have read it/found it useful even more. It’s great to hear your story about your Dad too, so often there are only bad (and rather scary) stories about bile duct cancer, so it’s great that anyone else reading this will know that your Dad’s experience was a relatively happy one too.

As a family we had a long time to imagine life without Dad, but nothing prepares you for it really. I’ve found other people’s experience and support really valuable, I know it will get it easier, it already is getting easier, and I know there will always be a Bobby-shaped hole in our lives but it’s a positive one, as he’d have wanted.

Thanks so much for commenting. I hope that 2013 treats you, your Mum and Sister kindly, take care of yourselves too, George

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