Grief & Loss: The Opposite Side of Father’s Day

A heavily personal post from me today. To mark UK Father’s Day 2020, I thought I’d discuss my dad, my grief and how losing him has changed how I see Father’s day now.

Firstly, a content warning, I’ll be discussing grief, bereavement and bits and pieces of medical stuff here, so I’d suggest skipping this post if any of those are likely to significantly upset you or bring up any of your own experiences.

I guess if I was to explain this post in a sentence it’s exploring the opposite side of father’s day. As I said in the mini introduction, the publication of this post coincides with UK father’s day 2020 and is also a couple of days short of the 2-year anniversary of my own dad’s passing. Since he passed away, I’ve begun to see Father’s day in a different light. Of course, there are those who have been father figures to me that I can still celebrate. Men like my own stepdad, who has been there for me for years whilst my dad was still here and has continued to be there for me since my dad passed away. But father’s day is still different. All the emails from brands and venues about father’s day gifts and reminders, and every blogger “father’s day gift guide” that I see is a stinging reminder every single time that my dad is no longer with us. Now, I’m not saying don’t write that content or for brands not to send those emails, I just don’t think we see this side of the situation as often (how people approach certain days and occasions after a bereavement). So, I thought I’d explain my side of it and how fathers’ days is different now.

I didn’t see my dad often, we lived at pretty much opposite ends of the country for a good portion of my life, so I never made a very big deal of father’s day. I’d just send him a “happy father’s day”  message, and a present if I could find a particularly good one that I thought he’d enjoy. Oh, how I  regret that now he’s no longer here, I so wish I’d made a bigger deal of Father’s day when he was here.

Father’s day was different once I’d received a phone call that turned my world upside down, telling me that my dad was ill and that we’d have to rush up to the hospital (hundreds of miles away). I didn’t fully know what was going on, but I knew I had to organise and sort everything to be ready to drive up to the hospital in the morning. It’s pretty difficult to organise your life when it feels like the world’s spun on its axis and the ground’s dropped out from beneath you all at once.

Father’s day becomes different because all I can remember is my dad’s last father’s day  with  him in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).  All of us (I have siblings) bringing cards and wishing him a happy father’s day. I can’t tell you how heart-breaking that was being unable to know what he thought of his cards or if he could actually hear us.

Father’s day is different when I realise that I spent the whole lead up to that day 2 years ago (basically the whole of June) discovering that the man I thought was invincible and immortal (because everyone thinks their parents are immortal right) actually wasn’t.

Father’s day becomes different when I remember the days and nights I spent trying to sleep in an ICU waiting room or relatives room wondering if dad was ok whilst the rest of us slept. Terrified to go to sleep in case he wasn’t with us when I woke up. Begging for someone to sit with him whilst I slept so that he wasn’t alone if something did happen.

Father’s day is different when I remember that,  instead of spending those June days chatting to dad and planning our trip to Madrid, I was cancelling the trip and wondering if I’d be helping to plan a funeral instead.

Father’s day will be different when I go to text him that same “ happy father’s day” message and realise I can’t because he won’t respond anymore.

Father’s day will always be different when every sentence talking about that wonderful man has to start with “dad was …” and not “dad is …”.

I’m not sure where I was going with this blog post. But what I’m saying is: Beyond the brands “father’s day” emails and adverts and the bloggers “ father’s day gift guides”, there’s a different side,  a different feeling to father’s day for me and those like me who no longer have the man we call dad with us. And I think that should be talked about more.

Happy father’s day, dad. I love you and I’ll miss you forever

All my love

Ems

The Awesome Blogger Award

Another blogging award! This time I’d like to thank Emmagayle from Empowered for the nomination. First, I’ll outline the rules, then answer the questions I was asked before nominating 5 other bloggers for the award and asking 10 of my own questions!

Rules

Thank the person who nominated you

Tag the post with #AwesomeBloggerAward

Answer the questions you were asked

Nominate at least 5 bloggers and inform them of their nomination

Give them 10 new questions to answer

My Answers

What is your favourite post on your blog and why?

My favourite post would be my How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: Disability Edition post on the 5 things people say, and 5 they do, that get on my nerves as a disabled person. I feel like it put across my frustrations with those sayings/behaviours well enough without seeming like I was shaming people, and hopefully had an impact on how people interact with disabled people from now on.

What is your writing process and do you have any rituals for getting ready to write?

I have no rituals as such but I do have a writing process. Firstly, I’ll plan out the blog post by hand in the specific notebook I use. Then I’ll transfer that plan into a word document on one of the templates I’ve made  (either the general template, the access review template or the train travel template, depending on the blog post) then I’ll just fill in the words around my planning notes until I have a blog post.

What is one of your musical guilty pleasures?

That would probably be Taylor Swift. I have no explanation for why I listen to her music but she’s definitely the kind of artist I usually listen to, which I’m pretty certain means I can call her songs a guilty pleasure.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Ah, that was either Justin Timberlake or Simon Webbe from the UK boyband Blue. I had a crush on both at around the same time I think.

What animal do you prefer – cats or dogs?

Dogs 100%, they’ve been part of my life my entire life as they were always our family pets.

Where do you like to write your blog posts?

In terms of blog planning, I prefer to plan out blog posts in coffee shops with my notebook and a coffee or two, although obviously not at the moment with the lockdown and pandemic situation. For actual writing, I prefer to write in my  bedroom at my desk, whether that’s in my university room or my bedroom at home

What is your favourite social media for blogging?

Definitely Twitter, I like the amount of interaction I can have with my audience and feel like I can show them more of me and my hobbies beyond blogging.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I don’t think so. I can do that thing where you roll your tongue up into a full circle from the sides if that counts?

When and where was your first holiday?

If we’re talking holiday abroad, the first one I remember was to Alcudia in Spain. I think I was 6 or 7 but I may have been older, I can’t really remember exactly. There may also have been an earlier holiday that I don’t remember.

What is your favourite hobby?

Those of you who have read my blog for a while or follow me on Twitter (particularly on Saturday nights) will probably know the answer to this. I love to watch Mixed Martial Arts, either on tv or live  in person at venues. I prefer watching in person as the live atmosphere is almost always incredible, but when I’ll get to experience that again, with the impact of the pandemic, I don’t know.

Nominations

Glen from glenparmenter.com

Alyvia from LifewithLyv

Madison & Rebecca from FosterFamTravels

Thomas from The Doubting Thomas Blog

Joey from Concealed Voices

My Questions

What is the explanation behind your blog name?

What is your main goal with blogging?

What skill would you like to learn?

What is your favourite film?

What city/country is top of your list to travel?

Who is/are your inspiration(s) when it comes to blogging?

What would you do if you could have your perfect day off?

Do you have a favourite sport? If yes, which one?

What is one inspirational quote or thing someone’s said to you that’s stuck with you?

If you could invite 5 celebrities or inspirational people to dinner, who would you pick?

Thanks to Emmagayle for nominating me, I hope this gives a little more insight into the Invincible Woman behind the blog and that those I’ve nominated enjoy answering my questions.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

Soooooooo I’ve been nominated for a Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award by the lovely Ashley from Blabbing Ash. First, I’ll set out the rules for the award, then I’ll answer Ashley’s questions, ask some questions of my own, and reveal my nominations for the award!

Rules

Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.

Make a post of the award. (Using a photo with the logo.)

Post the rules.

Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.

Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

Questions set by Ashley

What is the first thing you notice in a person?

The first thing I notice would be someone’s demeanour, whether they’re generally a happy person, someone who’s often sad, or someone who’s generally relaxed and laid back about everything. I usually  pick up on that pretty quickly and can get a general vibe from people.

What are some challenges you think the next generation will face because of our generation’s now actions?

I think the biggest struggle will be money. I don’t want to get political on this, and I know it’s not the entire generation’s fault that there are money struggles. However, it’s well noted that there are various places in the world in bad financial situations at the moment, with a lot of people struggling. I don’t want to come across as a “social justice warrior” type , but I really hope the situation changes and there are fewer people struggling for money in the world sooner rather than later.

What is something you could teach me that comes easiest to you?

I could teach you how to successfully drive an electric wheelchair. People that occasionally have to park my wheelchair for me usually find it quite difficult, but driving it has become second nature to me after all these years.

Coffee or Tea? Why?

I prefer coffee, mostly because I like the process and routine of making my morning coffee and the head space I think it gives me to think through what I have to complete in a day. It’s the whole romantic thought of drinking coffee in your kitchen in the morning while the world wakes up.

What is your favourite quote and why?

My favourite quote is “Those who love us never really leave us” from the third Harry Potter book The Prisoner of Azkaban.  I’m a big Harry Potter/ Sirius Black (the character who says that quote) fan and feel like that quote really encapsulates and helps me through my own experience with bereavement, which is something I’ve gone through a lot in recent years.

What is the most useful thing you own?

I would say my electric wheelchair as that’s my main mobility aid and the reason I can go on all these adventures I write about on the blog. However, I technically don’t own that, I just loan it. So if we’re going on something I actually OWN, I would say my rollator/walker thing as it’s  my second most used mobility aid and I actually OWN it.

Do you have a favourite comfort food? What is the recipe?

My favourite comfort food would be Mum’s homemade chicken pasta. I admit I don’t know the recipe to be able to recite it and I’ll have to ask her for it.

If you could have lunch with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

It would be Corey Taylor, the singer from my favourite bands Stone Sour & Slipknot. He’s one of my idols in general and pretty much musical idol and I’d love to be able to explain to him the impact he and his music have had.

My Questions

What/where/who do you think of when I say the word “home”?

Who is your favourite music artist or band?

What is your proudest achievement in your blogging journey?

What is your proudest achievement in life in general?

Do you believe in regrets? If no, why not? And if yes, what’s your biggest regret

What is your favourite travel memory?

What is your main hobby?

Nominations

Shona from Shona Louise Blog

Carrie Ann from Carrie Ann Lightley Blog

Pippa from Life of Pippa

Alex from The VI Critic

Emma from Little Harto

Hope from The Hope Chronicles

Nikki from SpokenByHer

Claire from Short Girl Walking

Madison & Rebecca from Foster Fam Travels

Megan from Life in Postcards

I hope that this has given you some more insight into me and that the people I nominated enjoy answering my questions.

Stay Invincible!

Em (Invincible Woman On Wheels)