To this day, I remember the most mundane details in the minutes that followed, the hideous light blue tweed two-piece with gold buttons from River Island that I wore that day thinking I looked fabulous, the coffee light frappuchino with extra syrup and less ice that I ordered at Starbucks in a state of shock after I listened to my granddad’s voicemail detailing what had happened, and the friends that I rang in utter confusion and who didn’t really know what to say.
Will I ever get over this fateful day? Or indeed will I ever not think about what my dad would make of the life I have established for myself, in the last 5 years, becoming the responsible and conscientious adult (well I try) he never thought I was capable of being during my bratty adolescent years?
A lot of things went wrong once he left this earth, in fact his passing very much broke, then healed, then broke again the relationship with my mother, who very understandably had a complete breakdown, waking up next to a dead husband, and we are only now back on good terms.
I was of course not left unscathed either, to this day struggling to shake off an irrational fear of dying and anxiety that manifests itself in a silly fear of flying and overthinking a hell of a lot of things.
What it did force me to do is grow up very quickly in a short space of time and reflect on what really matters in life. I may be slightly crazy, something that my friends can only confirm, and no doubt losing in effect both parents for a while left some irreversible mental scars on me that affect me to this day, but one thing that I have learnt is that everything happens for a reason.
Ultimately, I can’t live in denial of what happened that day because it made who I am today, but I can also not use it as an excuse to be a bad person. So, if once a year as October hits, I do decide to be sad for a day or even a week as the memories come flooding back that is totally ok with me.