“Grief does not change you; it reveals you.”
- John Green, The Fault In Our Stars.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so much like fear.”
- S Lewis
Life can be awful.
Really awful, and really unfair.
On the 19th January 2017, My Dad died.
He died a year after being diagnosed with cancer.
Nothing in this entire world can prepare you for that phone call. Trust me.
2 stone 5 lb.
That is how much weight I have put on since that day.
In my usual fashion, binge eating is how I dealt with my Dads death. I would say ridiculous things like “Oh look! Ackee and Saltfish! Dad loved this! He would like me to enjoy it.” This may be true, Dad loved food and loved that we enjoyed his cooking. But I don’t need the oxtail, steak, dumplings, cake and puddings too!
Ladies and Gents; I was on a very slippery slope.
I had stop. I had to put. The. Dumplings. Down.
I had to take time out and examine myself. I started to do research into grief, and how different people and personalities cope.
Allow me to elaborate;
Gaining over 2 stone in weight was definite denial. Eating, and saying “this is what Dad would want” is past denial. It was delusion. It was a complete and utter error on my part, and I am still paying the price.
However, there is still a part of me that is in denial. I hear myself say “yeah, I’m ok thanks” when people ask me how I am. In a weird way, almost two years later, I am still in shock. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real. I have not yet had that moment of acceptance. That scares me. I am horrified it will hit me at the worst time. Maybe on my wedding day, when I have a child? I am convinced it will hit me at a time in my life when my Dad should’ve been there, would’ve loved to be there…But won’t be there.
Oddly enough, I am not angry about this although this is supposed to be the next stage. If I am being honest, being angry doesn’t make any sense to me. Who would I be angry at? It’s not like he was killed at the hands of someone else, like a car crash involving a drunk driver or something of the sort. If I was to be angry, it would be misplaced. I would end up taking it out on my family, friends and fiancé and that would be so unfair to them as all they have done is offer me comfort and support.
And before you ask; No. I am not, nor have I ever been angry at God for this. I have asked “why” during prayer, but I full well know that without God and my faith, I would’ve lost it and fallen head first into the next stage: Depression.
Don’t get me wrong, you get days that are hard to manage, but once I remember the good times, I feel fine. I have always been a straight talking direct person. And so was my Dad. I got it from him. This ability to roll with the punches and keep it moving has given me a “stiff upper lip” and “heartless” reputation. This has helped. Don’t get me wrong, it is OK to be sad, but I know Dad wouldn’t want it to cripple me. “Live your life Franchie” is what he used to say…And that is exactly what I am doing.
Even when Dad was having various procedures and treatments he was still my Dad through and through.
Macmillan have really hit the nail on the head with this campaign. A person you love with Cancer (or any illness for that fact), is still the person you love. And even after they are gone, they will always be that person to you.
Devon Williams; here or not, will always be my Dad. Will always be the MVP.
Having experienced this grief, a lot of people reach out to you. Although they mean well, there are a few phrases that I can no longer bear. The worst (and most common) is “I’m sorry you lost your Dad”.
My Dad is not “lost”.
I know exactly where he is.
He is in my heart.
Even through the grief and hard times…
…We still slay.