It's now been more than six weeks since we lost our beautiful Dad, and more than two since his funeral. To say that time has been surreal is an understatement, and I feel as though most of it has been spent shrouded in thick fog. Some parts seem like only yesterday, and others seem like years ago already. I can't help but go through how I found out again and again in my head, and before I go to bed at night my heart leaps into my mouth as I turn my phone onto silent never again wanting to experience that dreaded early morning call that will change your life forever.
My sister and I have both started writing journals to help us work through the crazy mix of emotions you feel when you loose someone so beloved, so suddenly. Dora has been writing down happy memories, but at the moment, I'm finding my journal is a place I can scream into. To write to my Dad about how much I'm hurting and how much I miss and love him. I know the happy memories will follow, but the therapy it's giving me to get all that pain out of my head and onto the page is incomparable. Days can pass when I don't write a thing, and on others I can write numerous entries, each just sentences long.
I'm not really sure how much I want to write here, about it all. This blog has always been a happy space, somewhere we can look back through in months and years to come, to remember the little things that make us smile everyday. And in all honesty, I want to keep it that way. To keep it somewhere I can escape to. Where I can talk about the hilarious things Josephine's been up to, the cute clothes she's wearing and the fun adventures we've been on without side notes of bad days and tears. Hanging over everything in our lives is the deepest sadness, the knowing that someone amazing has been taken from us, so to have a space where I can focus on the happy and positive and frivolous seems like a blessing.
My Dad's dear friend George, who lost his own Dad when he was not too much older than me, summed up this strange new beginning we're all experiencing as 'A new chapter of the same story'. That despite the fact we're all having to pick ourselves up and start again, Dad will always be with us, a huge and important part of everything that happens in the future, as he was in the past; never ever forgotten. I've been thinking about that so much. That, even though he's not here anymore, he's playing a part in all our decisions and is part of us all. WWD/JD (What Would Dad/Joe Do) has become the family's motto in the last few weeks, and it's a comfort to us all to think of the advice and support he'd be giving us if he were here...another of George's suggestions :)
The support Ben has given me over these weeks has been indescribable. And I am more thankful than ever for our babies. Josephine is truly the happiest distraction, so like my Dad in so many ways and able to make me laugh through my tears like nothing else. She talks about 'Grandpa' without prompting and I find myself being able to tell her funny stories and tell her how much we all love him with pride and happiness in my voice, rather than sadness and longing. How much she loves him is both heartbreaking and heart-mending, all at the same time. The adventures they should have shared and will no longer be able to is one of the hardest things for me to think about. But we talk about him everyday. And our newest song to sing on car journeys is one we used to sing with my Dad when we were kids. Whenever I sing it I'm sure he's there with us, smiling away. And our tiny baby has kept me thinking about how many glorious things we have in our lives, and how many more there are to look forward to. About how there are so many things to be grateful for, despite everything.
My Dad is with me in everything that I do, and knowing that has allowed me to get up each morning and carry on. To still smile and laugh and be happy. To make plans for our future, to ensure we carry on his motto of living life to the full and grabbing every opportunity with both hands. To have fun. And that's what this blog will continue to be about, as it always has. To honour my wonderful, incredible, inspiring Papa.
I've missed writing here properly. I really feel this space has become part of me over the last few years, giving me the opportunity to continue writing, and the reason to keep on taking photographs when my camera could easily just sit in it's case on the table. I can't wait to be back more, my little corner of the internet to escape into. Thank you for sticking with me and for all your support. Your words both here, on Facebook and on Instagram have made me smile and cry and have offered so much comfort. Much love to you all xxx