24 years

October 2, 2012

I was at university in America and I was terribly homesick, so my dad had been ringing me every morning, telling me funny stories to cheer me up. On the Friday, he said, ‘I’ll call you Monday.’ But he died on the Sunday, October 2nd. When Monday morning came and the phone didn’t ring, I knew he was gone forever.

Earlier this year, as a result of a blog postI wrote a feature about my dad for The Guardian, and that led to someone contacting me and sending me a photo of him as a boy soldier. I can’t tell you how much that photo means to me. And yet the closer I have got to putting together the missing jigsaw pieces of his life, the more acutely I miss him.

Grief affects people differently. When my dad died, even though my heart felt as though it had broken into a thousand pieces, I just got on with it – my coping mechanism took over. But as those of you who have been bereaved will know only too well, the pain of losing a loved one, of longing to hear their voice or hug them never goes away. It is always there.

So, 24 years today since I lost my dad. But it still feels like yesterday.

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  • Kate on Thin Ice October 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Lovely post. I have just lost my father and one of the concerns I had is that I will eventually get over it. This post reassures me that whilst you have to get on with things, the love for the lost one remains.

  • Liska October 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hiya, just read your other post, The Guardian article and now this. Really interesting. Sorry for your loss (I know it is 24 years but sorry nonetheless). Did your brother and sister ever come forward? Liska x

  • Louise October 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    So sorry for your loss lovely Liz. I’m sure he would be very, very proud. Big squeeze xxxx

  • Lousie October 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I will make time to call my Dad tonight now x

  • 40s Chic October 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. I lost my mam almost 30 years ago but the pain is still searing. The loss shaped the person I have become and still affects me and my path in life even today.

  • Linda October 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for writing this beautiful post Liz. Lots of love to you. Twenty-four years is such a long, long time, but love is always there. That thought consoles me. It’s such early days for us but like you we are determined to get on, however hard that is, because in our hearts we know our gorgeous husband and dad wouldn’t want anything different.

  • Crystal Jigsaw October 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Very heartfelt post, Liz. I know what you mean. You accept that they won’t be coming back but you never get over it. 24 years, 24 hours; makes no difference. Keep your happy thoughts in mind today, I’m sure he’ll be smiling at you.

    CJ x

  • Leyla Preston October 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

    What a sad, but very moving story. Congratulations on being so strong. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose your dad 🙁