"A year later, the physical pain of grief started to lift"
"I missed seeing my dad, Gordon, by a day before he died. It was 2003, he was 72, and he had cancer. I was flying home from overseas to see him, but he passed as we were boarding the plane. Somewhat selfishly, I was relieved I didn't have to see him at his worst.
I kept thinking he wouldn't walk me down the aisle or see my kids born. The grief was like an ache inside. I cried lots during the first weeks. My siblings and I were asked to give the eulogy at his funeral, and it was good to have something to focus on during that stage. We shared our memories, and it was eye-opening to see him from their perspectives.
Talking with friends and family about him was helpful. It was also good to focus on the now, not to think about how I might feel tomorrow or next month. And spending time with my brother's and sister's children - seeing life continuing in them - made it easier.
It took about a year for my grief to start to lift. Then I was able to think about Dad without crying or feeling the physical ache of grief. But there are still days I want to share a joke with him and I realise he isn't here.Now it feels good to know Dad's at peace and not in pain. When I think of him, I remember good things, not the time he was sick."