Well, these past few weeks have been rather strange ones for me.
As some of you may be aware, my father died on Sunday January 17th.
This was not a huge shock, as he was very nearly 93 years old & had been in hospital right over the Christmas & New Year period. But, regardless of how well you think you are prepared for what we did see as quite possibly, the inevitable, the shock when that end comes, is still a little hard to take.
As i said in a recent YouTube video that i made, one of a series, the hardest thing to take is the sudden realisation that you will never see that person again. I still can't quite believe it & probably won't for a while to come yet. My mother, who has coped remarkably well so far, still has days when she fully expects him to come home from the hospital.
The word i would use to describe how i've felt over these past two weeks, is surreal. It's almost as if you are walking around in a slight daze.
I have not been overly affected by what has happened, which has surprised me a little. But i have still felt rather weird, especially at certain times.
Maybe the full effect has not hit me yet? This may be the case, as the funeral is not until this Wednesday. That will be a strange day indeed.
But, the main reason for writing this blog was not to concentrate on all of those negative things that, inevitably, come about because of a parents death. But, rather to accentuate the positive things that have come out of it.
For one, this has made me do some re-evaluating about my own life. It has certainly made me realise, even more than i did before, that life needs to be lived & it needs to be lived now.
I have always been someone who has said yes to opportunities that have come my way. But, now i wonder if i should be the one trying to create even more opportunities for myself?
Time will tell, i suppose, if these thoughts will ever lead to anything. But, if you don't have those thoughts in the first place, nothing will ever change will it?
Another aspect, has been the way that my fathers death has made us all revisit his life & realise just what a full & interesting life he actually led.
I've heard stories about my father that i had never heard before. One in particular that sticks in my mind was about the evening, in the 1960's, when he played the piano in a pub & was bought several drinks of appreciation by Brian Epstein, The Beatles manager. How cool is that?
My mother has also learnt a lot about his earlier life.
Because of my own interest in family history, i got my father to write down & tell me about his early life, especially about his service in World War 2. My mother had never heard many of these stories.
My father lived through The Blitz, in London. He was also at the Battle of El Alamein, in North Africa & was in London during the VE Day celebrations at the end of WW2.
As i said, an interesting life.
So, all of this has helped me to re-evaluate what my father meant to me.
One of the main things, i feel, is the influence that he has had on my own life. Right from the physical attributes, i am the same height, build & wear the same size shoes as he did for example.
There are also such influences as his love of music, reading & a general inquisitive ineterst in the world around him.
All of these things, i have inherited from him. I am very grateful for all of them.
So, as i said. There are even some positive aspects to come out of even the worst times.
We all know that we are influenced by parents. But, sometimes it takes an event like this to remind us of just how much of an influence they have.
And if, like me, you have children of your own. It makes you realise what kind of influence you will, inevitably, have on your own children.