I have tried writing this opening paragraph about 3 times. I don’t want to say ‘I can’t believe it’s been a year’ – because I can. I think about you every day, without fail – and there have been dark days and lighter days but you are never far from my thoughts. I have lost count of the times I think ‘oh I should send that to dad, he would love it’ – and then I remember I can’t. I have found it’s the trivial things that get me the most, nobody to message about the golf, how you would ask about Twiglet over anyone else, movies you would love and books I could have recommended.
Then there are the big things, the milestones you’ve missed. Wedding part 2 was a lovely day, you were in everyone’s thoughts, no more than mine. When I woke up that day I wasn’t excited – I was terrified that you weren’t there. I cried and cried, but everyone rallied round and it ended up being a happy, poignant day I won’t ever forget – I am so glad you made us have our wedding party – thank you.
There was the first father’s day without you – it’s funny how much you realise the commercial aspects that are a constant reminder. Email newsletters, shop windows, television adverts all reminding me of what I’ve lost. It’s hard, you kind of want to put your fingers in your ears and block it all out.
Christmas was tough without you – I remember how much you love it and your unwavering traditions – which I hope to bring into my family one day. Luckily I was surrounded by john’s family – who showed me so much love and support, I was so grateful.
We went to Disneyland for my birthday, walking around there were so many memories, as soon as I saw the castle as I walked into the parks it brought a tear to my eye. You were all around, in the queue for the Pirates of the Caribbean (first ride of the trip of course – can’t break that tradition) to the hotdogs from caseys and the star tours ride, when all I could think was ‘we just have to kill the bad guys and it’s over’. We crammed a lot in – you would have been proud!
The next year will have its own firsts, thanks to you we have been able to buy our first house, which will be a whole new adventure, so you are there, in the bricks and mortar which gives me such comfort and joy.
People say the 1st year is the hardest, and it has been hard but I am still standing and moving forward, but I also know there are many more firsts to come – starting a family without you will be the hardest thing, but I promise you they will always know who you were – a strong, proud, funny and unbelievably kind, gentle man.
I miss you so much x