Father’s day isn’t something I’ve given much thought to for many years – my Dad always forgot about it, he really didn’t see the point so quite often we didn’t bother. Somehow this year it’s different, so I’ve been pondering why.
Timing is all – we’ve just had our first wedding anniversary – marking an event that Dad wasn’t around for because he sadly passed away quite some years ago which meant that he wasn’t there to give me away. In the run up to the wedding I’d noticed that I was thinking about Dad a lot and it took me a while to work out why I was suddenly missing him so much more than I had been. Then I realised. This was my first wedding without Dad there to give me away.
All grief is unique. It’s something we say a lot around here. It seems obvious at one level, after all every relationship is unique. The statement sounds true when we hear it because no matter what our life experience is, by the time we are adults we have all experienced loss of various kinds. Even if we've never given it much conscious thought we know that we experience loss differently each time. There may well be common features of course. Reduced ability to concentrate or the urge to eat a bar of chocolate the size of Belgium, but no matter how hard some theorists try and push our messy human emotions into little boxes or “stages” it doesn't work. Grief IS unique.