Last night I dreamed my father died again. In October it will be 25 years since he died, but in my dream, it was as though it was happening now, and the pain felt as real as it did then. My dad has been gone longer than he was ever in my life, but the grief, the pain of losing him is always there in the background.
I think that’s something people who haven’t lost someone very close to them struggle to understand. You can’t predict grief – what form it will take, how long it will last, how to deal with it. You just learn to manage it, that’s all. It’s not that you’re wallowing in it – far from it. But the pain of it as much a part of you as the love you felt for the person when they were alive.
Not getting a chance to say goodbye to a loved one, to tell them everything you want to say while they’re still around to hear, makes it hard because there are so many things left unsaid. All you can do really is tell them those things inside your head, or write them down, but it’s a pretty one-sided conversation. And there are so many things you know they would have loved to see, to have been part of, and that makes it so painful.
The burden of grief is that it never goes away.