It has taken me over 24 hours to write this. I have deleted it and started it so many times I lost count. I have re-read it so many times and thought: “I’m sharing too much” but I think I need to do this and so, I write this with a heavy heart.
There are lessons to be learnt in all situations in life, no matter how big or small. Yesterday I farewelled a great friend’s Father. His death was expected, but even though you prepare you are never ready to say goodbye. You can imagine all the ways it may end, but when the time comes, it is nothing like you imagined, nothing like you thought you had prepared for, nothing can prepare you for the rollercoaster of emotions you just landed on. Your head and your heart work together and they work against each other. You feel sad. You feel happy. You laugh. You cry. You feel empowered. You feel weak. You feel lost, confused, alone…you feel alone yet there are so many people around you, so many people offering support. You still feel alone.
Your parents are there to guide you, help you, fight with you, love you, teach you, and do everything they can to provide the best, for YOU. That moment they are taken away, it all comes and hits you at once. Not only have you lost a great love but you now need to figure out a lot more on your own than with the safety net you had. You see the life drain from them in their final moments in this world but your brain is overpowering your heart thinking that they’ll come back, it was all just a cruel joke…but then the strength of your heart kicks in and overpowers your brain, slowly. As your brain backs down and reality sets in you start thinking of the future. He won’t be there for your Wedding, he won’t be there for your first born or your last born, or their Birthday’s or any more of your Birthday’s and just the thought of these things alone is enough to send a lingering, crushing pain right to your chest.
Staring at a ‘shell’ that was once filled with life is one of the most confusing things I have ever experienced, it looked like my Dad but it was not my Dad, it was a reminder of what WAS before that image is sealed forever. It taught me to appreciate those around me more than I had in the past. It gave me the push I needed to do what I wanted to do and not what I thought I needed to do to make everyone else happy.
Death is inescapable. It is the part of life that comes unannounced to remind those who are left to appreciate what you have. Death can take you anytime, anywhere – it doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, happy or sad, famous or not. Make sure it takes you from a life that you are happy to leave behind. Don’t be so quick to get mad (I say to myself more than you), don’t be so quick to judge but be quick to forgive. Make patience and understanding a compulsory part of your day. Not everyone is as lucky as some of us who expected the death of a loved one and had the chance to prepare. Happiness is a choice, it is also the most powerful and most weakest emotion – try to choose it more often than you have.
My Dad always said: “mai un male senza un bene” – “Never a bad without a good”. I smile at this quote more than normal now because I started baking when I was 11 for fun. When I was 23 my Dad was suddenly in and out of hospital, I took time off Uni to help look after him and to fill my time I baked everything and anything and then I started to decorate. A day before my 24th Birthday I was told my Dad had a large tumour in his large intestine and had three months to live. Three months later, he was gone – The bad. Two months later, Miss Piggy’s Cakes was officially registered – The Good.
Parents don’t have to be the people that gave you life, sometimes parents can be anyone that has acted as a Mother or Father to you. They are wise people. Love them, learn from them and appreciate them while you still can.