7 Years On and Life is Beautiful

Jesse found his shadow the other day. It was a perfect, beautiful moment, and one I was lucky enough to capture in a photograph. Frozen forever in that frame, the time my son watched his other self dance in the sunlight, surrounded by green grass and fallen autumn leaves.

Long time readers of Love Audrey might already know I lost my Father to Leukemia when I was 22. It was 7 years ago today that my Dad took his last breath, and I still miss him from the very bottom of my soul.

In the past I’ve used these pages to share the thoughts and feelings that whirl through my mind at this time of year*. My mood begins to sink almost as soon as the colours of autumn begin to flourish outside my window. As the leaves transform into vibrant bursts of red and orange and yellow, my heart feels darker, heavier somehow.

Without ever really realising, I feel sad for most of October. Then, as November dawns and I career towards its twentieth day, the emotions that usually lie dormant just beneath the surface of my being suddenly start to rise up inside my chest. They choke me as they sit in the back of my throat and just behind my eyes, waiting and watching the life that carries on without him.

In the three and a half years I’ve been blogging words have provided much solace. Sharing this part of my history has been cathartic, therapeutic and freeing. I’d like to think that those of you who might have lived through similar tragedies have found some comfort in the things I’ve written.

Now that my blog is less private and read more widely by ‘real’ people that know me in the ‘real’ world, I find myself less able to share my deepest, darkest feelings here. Perhaps I’ve already purged that portion of my grief anyway. The part that eats a way at you, filling you with despair and sadness.

The pain is still there, like a chronic disease that no medication can relieve, but I see more beauty in the world these days. This autumn the leaves seemed particularly bright and the sky bluer than before.

I feel thankful I am here, that I am healthy, and that I still hold my Father in my heart and in my head, if not in my arms.

Love Audrey xxx

* If you would like to read more about my experience of grief and loss you’ll find posts here, here and here. I also shared my experience of getting married without my Dad on Love My Dress here. Let it be known that when I re-read some of these recently there was an awful lot of cringing on my part. If nothing else, they’re proof your writing really can improve with practice!

15 thoughts on “7 Years On and Life is Beautiful

  1. Big hugs. Couldn’t possibly imagine how you feel but this is such a beautifully positive post I’m sure your dad would be incredibly proud.

    You’re also an insanely talented writer :) x

  2. Wrapping my arms around you and enveloping you in a hug (and Nicola too). Whether it makes you inwardly cringe or not, the memory of your Father strongly lives on, you’ve always written about him beautifully. Thinking about you xxx

  3. I understand where your coming from. My mum died 6 years ago and I blogged through my grief, but over time as more and more people I know started reading I felt stifled and didn’t feel like sharing any more. I’ve battled with pulling the posts down but as you said they might help someone. Time heals, or maybe you just get used to sad things and life takes over. xxx

  4. Beautifully written, so heartfelt. My heart goes out to you at this time–losing someone we deeply care about and have a relationship with is hardest at the holidays! Certainly you’ll bring your father’s memory to your children and he will live on through you. My mother was the same way with her own father, who died before I was born, but I still feel like I know him because she kept his presence so vividly alive! Your writing is moving, and yes, very helpful to people in time of grief! xoxo

  5. Oh Franky, how I too would like to give you a hug. You have written about your Dad so beautifully, he would be so proud of you. x

  6. I can’t bear that people I care about hurt so badly. I’ve been thinking about you so much since I last saw you and I am glad that whilst the pain will never go away, it’s started to become a little more balanced with light. You deserve much much light in your life and it is a wonderful thing that those around you positively glow like beacons xxx

  7. I have never been able to put into words how I felt after losing my dad at 17, I’m now 34 and reading your post is exactly how I used to feel! Don’t get me wrong I still really really miss him but as they say ‘time is a great healer’ and over the years that time of year (November for me) really has got easier and my heart doesn’t feel as heavy for so long. I never used to understand why at the end of October I’d start feeling miserable and then all of a sudden it would dawn on me ‘dad’ I miss my dad

  8. Frankie I’m so sorry I have so much going on in my own life thanks to the dreaded c word that I completely forgot that it was today xx A fantastic piece of writing as always especially considering the subject matter – lots of love to you and your family today – your dad would have been so proud of you for the person that you’ve become lots of love and hugs xxx

  9. I think it takes a lot of courage to write personal things that total strangers read. And you do it with a lot of integrity and and respect. I haven’t experienced a loss like yours, so I have nothing to compare it to. I can’t imagine how hard this time of year must be for you. I hope you’re able to find comfort in your family. Sending you lots of encouragement & happy thoughts!!

  10. Lovely words. My dad died 12 years ago and it is as if the grief is stored away day to day but I still feel I could burst into tears the second I think about him. I miss him so much. I don’t think you ever get over the loss x

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