It's hard to believe that another year has passed. Another year without you making me laugh, showing me the way, holding my hand and smiling back at me. I don't understand how it's been two years since we spoke. Since I saw you. Since our lives smashed into a million pieces. Since a new chapter began.
This year, I've come to release that the thing about grief - essentially, the biggest thing - is the absolute lack of control. I never know which way it will throw me. As time moves on, and another year without my Dad here comes to a close, the healing continues. The grief, for me, never fades - it burns as bright today as it did that first day - but I'm learning how to live with it. How to be warmed by that flame, draw strength from it and use it's passion and fire to drive my life along; achieve what I want to achieve, be who I want to be. The lessons grief has, and will, teach me are invaluable. They've come at the greatest cost, but they're here whether I like it or not, and it would be foolish not to listen to them and try to follow them. As the waves of heartbreak smash on me, I give in and let go and it helps me to heal and as the calmer waters of understanding take me to new places, I grow and relax and can breath again. Sometimes I feel like I am only just holding on by the tips of my fingers, so nearly out of control, and sometimes, from somewhere, I can use it and feel powerful and unstoppable; that I can take on the world, because I'm surviving the worst it has to throw at me.
With everyday comes a new challenge. A new question, a photograph, a forgotten memory, the first few bars of a song. And with every challenge I'm learning to let my heart guide me. I don't think I will ever know what will upset me or what will make me smile when it comes to my Dad, but I'm learning that I can't control it and realising that this year has simultaneously given me some control back. I no longer feel like I'm spiralling, even in those darkest moments. I'm riding those waves now, not fighting against them; I'm willing to let them take me wherever I need them to.
Everyday I feel you're with me, my Papa. In some way or another. And as the new year begins I'm more sure of it than ever. But I miss you, more every day and with every minute. I love you, forever and always.