Sunday, 14 January 2018

JENNA: THE PAIN NEVER GOES AWAY

Reader Jenna writes about the pain of losing a parent in this bittersweet and heartbreakingly honest post.

Jenna says:
Losing anyone that has a huge impact on your life is tough. Friends, family - they are the people who are there for you, during the good times and the bad. They pick you up when you fall down, brush you off and help you to try again. If you have someone like that in your life, you're a very lucky person. But when they're gone? Well, that's a completely different pain.

My dad passed away six years ago. He was my best friend and meant the world to me. He was the best man I ever met, always there for me when I needed him, when I struggled, when I was happy, no matter what - he was always there. Teaching me things about life, lessons I still keep with me today. Losing him was hard, but at first I coped by pretending he'd gone away for a while and would be back, he just couldn't contact me right now. It worked, for a few years.

As time went on, little things happened that I needed my dad for, or wished he was there for: birthdays, Christmas, school work, just reassurance that things would be OK.The fantasy world I had built began to fade and I began to truly realise he was gone, and then the grieving came on. I would go to school crying, feeling numb, wishing my dad was back beside me, that it was all a trick. But it wasn't, and I knew it wasn't, and that was the most difficult thing of all... knowing that he wasn't coming back.

The friends I had at the time didn't understand what I was going through. There's a quote that says 'hard times reveal true friends', and I definitely learnt who my true friends were. Rather than supporting me, they said I was attention seeking. 'I don't understand why she's still crying over her dad, it's been three years - she should be over it by now!' They never knew I overheard this, didn't understand what it felt like. Letting these people go was the best thing I ever did. Here is something I want you to know in case any of you are going through the same situation... there is no end time to bereavement; the pain will never fully go away. It may die down a little but it will always be there. You've lost someone who had a huge impact on your life, and that's not something you can get over straight away. It's about you and time. If you have people in your life that say hurtful things, they are not your friends... but remember they haven't been through what you have In time, some may come round and begin to understand.

Life now, six years on, is still difficult. I miss my dad - I always do. Like I said, the pain never fully goes away, but it does become easier to deal with. I think about my dad every day, remembering the memories we shared. Some days are more difficult than others, some days I wish he was here to give me a hug, some days I cry and get upset, but it's OK. No one is alone in this.

Artwork by talented reader NIAMH, age 12.

Cathy says:
This is such a brave and powerful post. Losing someone close to you is huge at any age, but as a young teen it can turn your world upside down. Have YOU ever lost a loved one? Or do YOU have any words for JENNA? COMMENT BELOW to have your say.

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