D is for Doughnuts

In a time of coronavirus, too many people are facing an unexpectedly lonely and sudden Fathers’ Day without their parents. Newly bereaved and navigating the previously undisturbed waters of grief. So here’s my two cents:

I wish you would know that your loss is unique. No one has ever had a relationship with their father quite like yours, and no one will fully understand the true depths of your sorrow. This is an inexplicable gift. It will make your memories all the more bittersweet and creates an eternal bond that, time and time again, will allow you to be reminded of him day to day in the most simple of ways

I wish you would know that grief is elusive. Some days it screams in your face, some days you carry it quietly in your pocket – and on others it makes you feel like you are going completely crazy. Like, out of your mind, crying in the supermarket, did-i-just-hear-his-voice-on-the-phone crazy. It is draining. Your reactions are honest reflections of your emotions. Allow yourself this space and be forgiving

I wish you would know that life can seem really unfair. Actually, a lot of the time it is unfair. Like a Lemony Snicket saga. I won’t patronise you and say that everything happens for a reason, because it’s an impossible task to even entertain the thought of a reason good enough. Acknowledge that you feel this way – your feelings are so valid

I wish you would know that guilt is natural, but self-compassion is integral

I wish you would know that your friends will show up. Not all of them – some you probably won’t see ever again – but the ones that matter will be by your side. They’ll silently sit next to you while you sob; ensure you’re fed and watered when you’ve consumed only tea and biscuits for the past week; and allow your loved ones to live in their glowing stories, eyes shining bright. Keep them close and hold them tight

I wish you would know that your sleep cycle is about to get real messed up. Flitting from insomnia to lie-ins to restless nights, it’s probably not going to help how you process this new way of life. Give it time as sleep disruption can be normal during the grieving process, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel it’s affecting your daily life and mood. Prioritise your rest and recuperation, and find what works for you

I wish you would know that the sun still rises. Even though you can’t comprehend how the world could possibly keep spinning through your loss, your life will go on. And you will achieve so much. So much. For every morbid thought I’ve had in the past, I never believed I would have the emotional capacity to cope with the loss of a parent. Surely, I would simply implode. But here I am, living breathing proof. Not because I am special, no, but because I am human. Two steps forward, one step back and we’ll get there; day by day by day

“what is stronger

than the human heart

which shatters over and over

and still lives”

– rupi kaur

I wish you would know that milestones never really become easier. But you’ll find your own way to commemorate your loved one and to hold space for yourself on those days. Maybe it’s writing a letter you won’t send, maybe it’s a quiet moment of reflection, maybe it’s surrounding yourself with family and friends, with joy and laughter. Maybe it’s starting the silliest, quirkiest tradition that no one else would ever understand. For me, Fathers’ Day means jam doughnuts for breakfast. Heated under the grill until the sugar starts to burn and the jam is dangerously hot. Nostalgia tastes good

I wish you would know that you deserve happiness. Despite the at times overbearing sadness and despair, you are emphatically worthy of respite and contentment. Guilt-free, blissful, sun-shining happiness. Allow yourself to soak up the beams and feel the warmth


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