I never imagined that I would have to live my life without my dad in it, at least, not for another 50 odd years.
I never believed that I would have to spend a single fathers day, without my dad.
I remember talking to an ex who had lost their dad at a young age. I remember really feeling for them but, I also felt very lucky that at the time, my father was still alive.
I did not know, that about a year after this conversation, I would lose my dad too.
It’s hard at first to get through each day. Grief really likes to knock your world from under your feet.
Then the anniversaries and birthdays come around, or the events that your dad should have been at.
I feel jealous of every single person who has a dad that loves them and is still alive.
A part of me is angry for not appreciating my dad enough. Not doing more to show him that he is in fact, the worlds best dad and I would never change him for anything.
Father’s day for me, was the absolute worst.
I remember walking around my little town on the first father’s day since his death, I felt like the world had no idea exactly the pain that so many of us are in.
It felt almost like a personal attack, I know it wasn’t, but it was like, the only way I could avoid fathers day was by going off-grid for a week or two.
The obnoxious presents and balloons, the big meals at pubs, for a day, everyone lives and breathes to celebrate their dad; and I would too if I could.
But it feels like you’re locked on the outside when you don’t have a dad.
You can’t help but feel jealous of the families who have the chance to tell their dad’s that they love them in person.
You want to just tell everyone to really fucking cherish them every day, because one day it will all be gone.
I tend to hide nowadays when the father’s day vomit spews over my high street.
I don’t mind that other people celebrate it. I don’t mind that it’s highly commercialised.
But it still feels like the universe is rubbing salt in my wound.
I have learned though in my five years of grief that I am still allowed to celebrate my dad.
I may not take part in these calendar occasions, but I have my own ways to just reach out and let the world know that I still love my dad.
In the spring, I’ll buy or really take a moment to take in the daffodils. My father would practically paint the garden in them, every single Easter.
For his birthday, I like to reflect, look at his pictures and have a good old cry.
At my wedding, we made sure to talk about him, to involve him in the day as much as we could.
At Christmas, I have a little penguin ornament with ‘dad’ written on it, that I bought for my first Christmas without him; we bonded over penguins. This ornament is always at the top of the tree.
I tell myself that I don’t have to celebrate my father in the same way as others, but I don’t see why you couldn’t, if you wanted, still celebrate father’s day, even if you no longer have a dad.
So, do I have an issue with Father’s Day?
I think the issue I have is the constant comments from people who do not know me saying “what have you planned for you dad“.
Or worse, giving me sympathy and that sad face whenever father’s day is mentioned and I’m in the room.
But the worst thing of all, is those adverts, the media that spews how great it is to have a dad, and it is. I KNOW THIS BUT I CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
But sometimes, it just seems insensitive when my inbox is full of spam about what I should buy myself, my Twitter feed is shouting at me the celebrate and the world just forgets for a moment, that not everyone has a dad.
There is no better advice for this, than to remember that you are lucky if you still have a father that both loves you and is alive.
It’s a life that many of us want back. So don’t waste it, get off your phones, spend time with your dad, and more than just once a year.
Mostly though, be empathic in your conversations, it’s okay to want to give your father the world, I know I did, but pay attention to who you are talking too.