The Death of A Parent

I haven’t really spoken much about what happened last year – saying that makes it sound as though it was ages ago but it wasn’t.. it was only just over 3 months ago. Partly because I can’t quite verbalise how I feel and also because I thought I was doing “ok” and dealing with it all very well. Almost too well. I’m not going to talk about the events leading up to, during and after because its out of respect for my family, but on the 1st of October 2014, I lost my Dad. He was only 69years old.. in a few days he would have turned 70. He should still be here to celebrate but he isn’t.

I could talk about how “unfair ” it is but we all say that.  In his case though, he shouldn’t have died so young but there were external influences involved and it was those that led  to his death.. I won’t forget the early morning ring of the phone, I knew that something was wrong and I was right. I knew what was coming but it was all so surreal. It wasn’t how I thought it would be. I guess I thought he would die of an illness or old age, well until his accident (bang on the head) resulting in a brain injury- he wasn’t the same after that. By saying that it wasn’t how I thought it would be , I mean this- when you live away from home whether it be 5 mins away or as in my case , thousands of miles.. you get to a certain age when you know that “the call” will eventually come. It did at 03:15am on a Friday morning. I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night and I remember saying to my husband “I’m not going to have a Dad anymore”. I couldn’t even cry at that point, I didn’t know what to do, how to feel. Like I said earlier- it was surreal. I called work – I work for the out of hours service and had I not had some wine the night before , I’m sure that I would have driven to them to explain. But I didn’t and I couldn’t. I apologised for calling , saying that I was sorry I didn’t know what to say.

As I didn’t have a valid passport- I’m imfamous for never having one up to date- I had to try to contact the French embassy as my Dad is (was), French.. they were fantastic. I got a temporary passport and after drama upon drama at the airport due to my travel agent screwing up, I was on my way to London for my connection to Toronto. When I arrived, I went straight to the hospital. My sisters where there and they were exhausted.

Anyway, less of what went on there and during that time.. of which I was away from the kids for 1 month- fast forward over 3 months later and a trip home with my kids to cure some homesickness and to lay some flowers on my Dads grave. I felt that I NEEDED to be there. It helped.

This week though, I feel like its all hitting me like a tonne of bricks and I feel angry, in denial, crippled by emotion and lost. I now regret not calling him back when I said that I would, that I didn’t get to know him better… or understand him more. I wish a lot of things. I no longer have a Dad. My sisters no longer have a father. I feel mostly for my eldest sister as she was the one who saw him more as she lived the closest and I feel like its her who should be feeling it most. Her kids too.

I don’t know what to do and how to feel.. apart from tired, and angry. I feel like life has really passed far too fast and I only now know that we shouldn’t take things for granted. But I did.

Cynical At Christmas

I love Christmas, I really do and this year was no exception to the rule…. well almost. I think it started on Christmas Eve when a friend of mine and I were preparing our random acts of kindness bundles of scones and cupcakes packaging them up and leaving them on peoples door steps. We felt pretty guilty because we in the end couldn’t do all of the houses and we had to say to ourselves that enough was enough, see it for what it was and stop putting pressure to spend more on ingredients that we were rapidly running out of and do what we could  whilst understanding why we were doing it and for what reason, ie KINDNESS.

The issue that I had wasn’t that one or two people had a  inclination that it was us, but 1 person said she wouldn’t eat it as it may be “dodgy” or have something in it…  Why are we on guard so much that an act of kindness is construed as one of harm or with a deeper and sinister meaning? I guess its because of the world we now live in with violence ect… Maybe next year we should just write notes of kindness cause at least we cant lace it with cyanide or anything else. I don’t blame her, as I said these are the life and times that we live in and maybe we should have thought of something else to give/do for people which would restore their faith in human nature and community spirit.

My other issue is with the amount of gifts that we give. My husband, god love him, had been buying gifts for Thunderpants since October!! She had that many gifts that she said she wasn’t sure if Santa made it to all of the other boys and girls, and said that she might save some for opening later in the day. She got another two from her cousins plus a few more when she went down to her nanna’s and money from one of her Papa’s.  I said to her that next year it wouldn’t be like this as she will have a little brother to share Christmas with and that it was more about spending time with her family and our friends, trying to teach her different things which I do believe she understood and that it wasn’t just about Santa and being good/or bad(I hate that), but about family time, slowing down and just enjoying family time.

My best present this year, was a self made “Canadian Selection Box”, by my husband who got all of my favorite candy bars. It was the thought that went in to it. That’s what made me feel all warm and fuzzy,  the thought that I do and probably always will miss home at this time of year and a little bit of home is just what I need and appreciate.

When I went on to twitter this AM, my cynicism grew when BBC Radio 5 Live posted about police guarding entrances at Selfridges to make sure that sales don’t get out of hand. Are you fucking serious? Its a sad day when we have to “get out of hand” over products and services that we don’t need at the expense of someone else’s safety and our own sanity!  Or what about the magazine that says we can now concentrate on our new years diets, the same one which posted a few days earlier to have a Merry Christmas and to enjoy it but then ripping the carpet out from under our feet today with insinuating that we are all fat bastards and should now repent. Really?!

Then there are those who are having to work to meet the demands of society and consumerism, can’t we spend time at home with the kids, family that we actually want to see , relax before having to go back to work/study or whatever demands you have in life? Just one more day?! Is there a need to stand in ques and get pissed off cause the person serving, isn’t going fast enough for us? Yes, spare a thought also for these people who are trying to keep up with getting people through the door and then back out, the conveyor belt of people in order to line the pockets of some fat cat business person who IS sitting at home and enjoying their time off.

When did life become like this? What has changed? Why are we only nicer to people at Christmas, why not any other time of the year too?  Why is there so much greed?!  what about the homeless or those who have to deal with the loss of a loved one? Why so much competition? Someone re tweeted that Facebook lies about Christmas where as twitter gives you the reality… This is so true and really gives some good reason to never go back to Facebook again.

So I bid you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… from the heart!

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