|One of the last photos I have of me with my dad
It's been a difficult few months, not going to lie. It was a pretty difficult year or so before he died too, of course. Then I heard the news and ...that feeling I had was so much, it was so overwhelming. I expected it, I knew it was coming. And yet nothing ever prepares you for such a thing. What that feels like.
I'm glad that I've had the support that I've had in my life since. N, my boys, my extended families. It felt easier for a time to focus on more practical matters instead of on my grief, so for a couple months I only really dealt with organising the memorial service I had planned. Picking out music, a venue, putting together a video tribute, writing my dad's eulogy. These things I could do, I could set my mind to doing them, to accomplishing something. Pushing everything else to one side while I did them.
And that worked for a time. I flew out to the US in April and my dad's family and friends got together for a lovely send off for my dad. I'm grateful to so many people for their help in this. My best friend and her husband for letting me and N and the boys invade their house and for being such amazing emotional supports for me. My cousin and my aunt for arranging things I couldn't. Everyone that I met for just being so lovely and making me feel like that was exactly where I needed to be surrounded by friends and family. I had been dreading the speeches, hearing other people's stories and experiences of my dad but it turned out to be the best thing ever. I laughed and I cried. I stood up and said goodbye to my dad in a really public way. But it was good too.
The following day we drove to the coast, got on a boat and in the middle of some quite choppy beautiful blue water, I dropped my dad's ashes into the sea like he wanted. Do you know what happened when I did? Just for a moment, I saw a vision of my dad. He was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt and he looked decades younger and maybe 100 pounds lighter than I was used to. And he was leaning against something looking very relaxed. And he was laughing. That mental image has given me so much comfort in these past six months.