My dad was a born and bred Norfolk boy. He loved the outdoors. My siblings and I spent whole summers at the beach with him. He knew just about everyone and everyone certainly knew who he was! He lived every minute of his life to the full and there was never a dull moment when he was around. I was 13 when he died. It has been the most unexpected and heart-breaking event of my life so far. Grief has been a strange and painful journey for me. Experiencing bereavement at such a young age exposed me to so many new, challenging emotions that I could not always handle. I was lucky to have such an amazing, supportive mum, brother and sister who have always been there when I need to talk, cry or just be together.
In my head grief comes in waves, sometimes it is small waves rippling on the beach. They are always in the back of your head. Other days it is like a huge storm and the waves are 6 feet high it feels like nothing will ever be the same. But I have learnt it is okay to be in a storm, to cry, to be sad, to not want anything else but my dad. I’ve learnt to embrace those feelings and when I’m in a storm I watch all my dad’s favourite films, listen to his favourite music, I talk to him as if he is sat next to me and I never forget how much I loved him and how he loved me. To anyone who is grieving right now, it’s okay to feel rubbish, to cry, to scream, you will get through this and even though it can be hard, never be afraid to speak out.