Even with all of those years of work in journalism and communications behind me, nothing can prepare you to write your own dad’s eulogy and the feelings it evokes inside you.
Sadly, my dad passed away last week which is why I have been totally off the grid recently.
My emotions have ranged from pure devastation and floods of tears to red hot anger … f*** you cancer!
Now more than ever I see what is most important in life. Not the Facebook statuses about everyday mundane life and what we are eating or drinking right now. By all means we must all go ahead and enjoy life, but when a girl has just lost the first love of her life – her father – everything else means very little at the time.
Life is raw at the moment. Red, red raw. My emotions play with me as I move from auto pilot, attending to my three girls who need me to be there for them, to an emotional, sometimes angry, wreck.
I have always been the dependable strong one in my family and I’m trying to be there to support my mum during this time while also being a mum to my own three girls. While I’m grieving right now, I know the full extent of my feelings are still yet to come and that scares the heck out of me.
Nights are the worst. I’m alone with my thoughts – too many thoughts -and as they flood my mind, the tears flood my face. When I climb into bed I often can’t sleep so I turn to watching movies – thank you Bourne series – until I get so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. Otherwise the visions of my dad’s final moments replay in my mind and it hurts. It really f***ing hurts. Then I imagine my mum heading to bed without her husband after so many years of him by her side and start to wonder, how do you do that? How do you cope with that? How do you walk into your room and see all their clothes and belongings laid out as they were still here walking the Earth beside you without breaking down each time?
My heart skips a beat and my breath is taken away every time I walk around my parents home and notice little things left behind by my dad. It was the home I grew up in from a very young age. So just how do you do that?
And so how do I write a eulogy about my father in just a few pages? How do I sum up his ordinary yet miraculous life in just a few minutes?
But more than that, how do I tell the man who raised me and instilled in me the values I have today that I love him, will always love him and will never forget him? That he has taught me so many things?
How do I tell his remarkable story of immigrating from Germany to Australia on his own to start a new life is truly inspirational to me?
I know it will be my therapy, just like this blog post. Writing has always been my friend like that.
My dad always put his family first. He worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed. Everything and more. I now know where I learned the importance of my own family from.
I wish I had said thank you to my dad more often. I wish I had told him I loved him more often. I wish I had said I was sorry for the times we fought over trivial things when deep down I know he was only looking out for me, wanting what was best for his baby girl.
But I know regrets don’t matter or really help right now. Deep down inside I know he already knew all of these things. They didn’t need to be spoken, but of course I still wish they had.
So while I bid you farewell Dad, I will always love you and you will forever be in my heart xx