AN OPEN LETTER: Dear the bereaved

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This one is quite heavy, they won’t all be like this I promise!

Fellow bereaved, you are not alone.

I am writing to you to let you know that I am thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

My father died a little over a year ago. Cancer.

I tell you this because I want to let you know that now, a year after the shock and numbness and extreme sadness, I genuinely feel happy and warm at the thought or mention of my father. Much of the sadness has been washed away, and what is so wonderful is how my memories of him are crystal clear and I include them so much of my life, especially when I face challenges or celebrations.

So please, take heart, you have only lost the small part of your gorgeous loved one.

I also wanted to let you know a few things most people don’t talk about, but I hope might in some little way help you over the next few months and years – and forgive me if this makes you cry. Here goes…

My father was the most precious person in my life, and my closest friend. For me, the funeral was a blur. I felt numb and sick and almost as if I was removed and looking in from the outside. The worst part was I couldn’t think properly about my father, and I couldn’t cry. Not even a tear. I also remember being surrounded by hundreds of people, many of whom I didn’t know, and many who I don’t think daddy particularly liked! At this time I remember craving privacy.

It was only months later that I suddenly realised I wouldn’t see daddy again – and then I panicked – I didn’t think I would be able to cope, but I did because I, like you, had a wonderful family and a few really close friends. This was the stage where I couldn’t stop crying. At unexpected and often inopportune moments, I would burst into tears – often triggered by smell, songs, words, jokes etc. this was the time I cried about his illness and suffering. This was also the time that I became really angry at the injustice. Why did my wonderful, kind father have to suffer? – how can there be a God? At the time I felt pretty churned up and all over the place, but this is a cathartic process and I really did feel a lot better afterwards.

From this moment on, it’s so much better. In my case, much of the anger and sadness has seemed to fall away, and I feel a very strong and private connection with my father. I still have conversations with him every single day.

Enough about me. I only tell you my dramas to try and reassure you that you will be okay.

You will go from strength to strength and your loved one will be watching with the greatest pride and love.

Love and hugs xo



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