A woman who went by the name of LC sent a handwritten letter to the Anton Savage show about the loss of her father, and understandably, it was heartbreaking for me, because of how similar her feelings were to mine, when my own dad died.
Read the letter below (click on images to enlare)
Or listen here: The Anton Savage show podcast
Here are a few things I wanted to say in response to her;
I know that the pain you feel right now is one that you have felt before, losing another person only 5 years after a major loss is awful.
I have been in a similar situation,
I lost my dad in 2008 when I was thirteen followed by my best friend in 2011 when we were both 16, and, like your parents, they both had cancer.
- I understand why you chose to write to a radio presenter, instead of talking to someone close, because of two reasons:
We have a connection with the people we listen to on the radio every day, they are there when you are lonely, and we get to a point where we feel like we know them. We are not afraid of them judging us because we have a radio separating us, the perfect balance between familiarity and distance, that makes it seem less scary.
Also, it is so much easier to pen your feelings to someone who is not grieving with you, I sometimes felt it was much easier to talk to strangers about losing my dad or Shauna, than talking to my family and friends, because I didn’t want to drag them into my grief or upset them when they may actually be having a good day. I spoke to people who didn’t know Shauna or my Dad, and also wrote to them both in notebooks that no one but me will ever read.
I can understand why it felt like the best option.
- Writing the words dead, death or died etc, can be one of the hardest parts.
It is so difficult to actually write down these words: they are the reason you cannot function, but writing them makes it real, and as hard as that is, it is the first step in accepting that you still have your parents with you, but in a different form.
- It is okay to be angry that other people aren’t grieving with you.
When you wrote ‘I feel like shouting out don’t you know my dad just died!’ And ‘It breaks my heart that life just goes on’
This is the point in your letter that I began to cry.
This sums up the first year of my grieving process when my dad, Sean, died.
This for me, specifically when my dad died, was one of the hardest things about losing him at first. The night he passed away, there were so many people willing to help in any way they could. The wake, the funeral and the following few days, everyone was so empathetic and supportive, as if they too were feeling my family’s loss.
In a matter of weeks after, our extended family went back home, our close friends were around less often and I had to go back to school. I hated this time. I knew I would grieve for the rest of my life and everyone bar my mother, and brother got on with their lives as if it had never happened.
I remember my mother explaining to me that people have to get on with their lives, that they have to in order to survive, in a small community like my own, people have to get back to their everyday lives, because if they grieved for every single person they knew forever, no one would ever be okay.
But people will understand if you are not okay, you just have to remind them sometimes.
Thinking of you, and stay strong,
from one daddy’s girl to another.