Many people have told me that the firsts are always the hardest, your first Christmas without them, first birthday etc. However, I beg to differ, this was the case when I lost my Granny but it’s been different with my Dad. I’ve prepared and braced myself for each one, firstly his birthday, then Christmas and actually these helped me deal with losing him.
Special occasions with Dad physically present were obviously few and far between dependent on his visits from abroad so not having him here for them isn’t unusual. Since his passing though, we’ve made an effort, his birthday my mum came round and we ate his favourite curry and toasted him and it took then edge off, we were able to laugh about the good (and crap) times. Christmas is always family one for us, and being with family, gave me a chance to take a big exhale and come home feeling settled (the news of a little baby the size of a chocolate chip growing in my tummy also helped).
Father’s Day this year though was tough! I’d been so wrapped up lately in being heavily pregnant, juggling work, home, growing a human and preparing a Father’s Day gift from bump to my husband, that I didn’t brace myself for my own Father’s Day. Dad was never a big one for them and every year would tell us not to have wasted our money etc but yet I always still sent a card and wishes and when he was over here got him a gift. So then this year the weekend came and it hit me, the first one with out him.
It’s not that I hadn’t been thinking about him, I do all the time, even more so as the onset of motherhood arrives and I long to tell him about baby kicking, show him our nursery taking shape, talk to him about my step sons excitement at being a big brother and playing guessing games over the gender. I wish everyday that I could let him know that he’s going to be a grandad again and have another little one running around asking for Poppa M. So when Father’s Day came and slapped me across the face, I glanced a pictures, shed some tears and wrote him another letter.
What it made me realise though was the firsts aren’t the hardest, in fact you’re ready for them-you mentally prepare for them being difficult, you know they’re coming and know you’ll find them hard. It’s the others that will be harder, the ones where life has carried on as normal and you’ve got wrapped in keeping everything going, with the lost parent still there in your daily thoughts. The fact is they’re all hard, not just the firsts, not just the special days that you know are coming but have the sadness jump out at you suddenly like the bad guys in horror films, as if from nowhere, just all of them, because you’d just rather have them here.