Last year on this day it was the first anniversary of my Dad's death.
I never wrote about it. Looking back at my posts in October last year, I busied myself with Frocktober. I made myself so so so busy saying yes to everything. I thought I knew exactly what to do and how to deal with things.
"Don't allow any quiet moments in your brain, just fill every waking moment with tasks and the grief will not be a guest in your heart." These are the things I told myself. It worked. For awhile anyway.
The anniversary came and went and nothing happened. Dad was still dead. We were all still sad.
So here we are at year two. Dad is still dead, confirming he was not Jesus, as he has not risen from the dead. We miss him. Fuck I miss him. If I could just call him once a year that would be ok. If I could bargain with some God to just allow that at least. Even if it was a limited number of years that I got to do that. Even just one call. Let's face it, I am desperate, I will take a text message if that's all God is handing out.
Immy asked me last month if I would cut my leg off if I could see Poppy again.
Yes, I said. I would cut both my legs off.
"Wow" she said. "You know then you would have no legs?" I told her I could live with anything if it just meant we got him back.
"Would you kill yourself to let Poppy come back?" asked Miss 8.
"No." I said. "That would not really help."
As children they understand death in different ways, but these concepts change for them as they grow.
Immy has cried more. "I miss his cuddles and tickles and it's not fair that I didn't get more years with him."
Miss 8 has wished he was here to remind her of his card tricks and all the maths tricks he could do with a box of matches. He had a knack of entertaining small children at dinner tables, he played paddocks on napkins and asked them riddles appropriate for their age. He knew all the good knock knock jokes. Of course I saw the tricks many times, but I have forgotten them, I always did. She feels ripped off that she won't get to work them out. I feel ripped off too, because I know how much he wanted to live.
In my head, I have to constantly remind myself that the crap day, the shit day of remembrance is the 20th, because to me it was the 19th, the last day I saw him and hugged him goodbye. He wore a thick wool jumper that day. It was cold in Melbourne.
Throughout this year, I have silently questioned my blog and its future. I have given it substantial less time and attention than ever before. But you know what I have found also? I use my blog to check back on things we did, images of the kids and comments. It's indulgent, but personal blogging is a very self indulging hobby.
I like writing our stories and I really like it when I stumble across an old post I wrote and see my Dad has left a comment on it.
One day, Immy and Miss 8 will know that Poppy read every single story about them that I wrote. But it won't be enough.
And here we all are.
Happy, most of the time.
I work hard to keep myself from being smothered by that heavy, dark blanket that sometimes floats above my head threatening to fall from the sky and pin me down. I see it much less than I did last year.
Cheers Dad. I hope the wine is good where you are, the music is upbeat, the sun is shining and the company is engaging. Give me a call when you can (text if you have to).
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