We seemed to have hit the point of ‘reviews of last year’, whether that’s your own photo collection on social media or the classic Sports Personality of the Year.
For me, although I hate the cliché, this year has been a real rollercoaster. I’ve had some of the worse moments of my life, done a lot of soul searching and seemingly come out the other side into a better place. I’m ending the year in a completely unexpected fashion. If you’d asked me in January what my New year’s resolutions where, I’d have said that I wanted to make it as a self employed writer and blogger. But actually here I am, an employed accountant and loving it!
What struck me this morning was that actually right now this minute, I’ve got a huge amount to be grateful for – two fab kids, a wonderful husband, a more than suitable home and a great job with a bright future.
However, also it’s coming up to a year since we lost my dad and our first Christmas without him. I find myself feeling guilty – he’s gone, so shouldn’t I still be weeping and wailing?
Is it OK for me to be happy, having lost a loved one?
Is it disrespectful for me to be excited about the future – a future which doesn’t have my dad in it?
I’ve had moments of overwhelming sadness. Like watching the Strictly final and realising that I couldn’t exchange texts with my dad about the dances we liked and who we wanted to win.
But then another part of me says that at least he’s not suffering or in pain anymore. And that he’d be proud of the journey that I’ve been on. For him, me being happy was the important thing, irrespective of what I was actually doing. He didn’t question when I quit my stable job and entered the great unknown, and remained calm when I got three tattoos aged thirty four!
I know that he would be so proud that I’ve conquered wallpapering and managed to grow pumpkins this year. I’m certainly not over his death, in fact I think about him daily and often can’t comprehend that he’s not here anymore. It’s like the motivational quotes say when you’ve experienced loss, your life won’t be the same again but you find a new normal.
So maybe it is OK for me to be happy, in the comfort that I am living the best life I can for my family. That would make my dad proud.