This is Hannah’s Daddy writing. I haven’t made any posts on Hannah Grace’s blog yet, but have helped and encouraged her mummy as she set it up. I wanted to write to give a bit of a Dad’s perspective on grief, and to brag a bit about my beautiful daughter!
Hannah was (as is) the most wonderful, beautiful, inspiring and encouraging daughter any Dad could ask for! This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, given the characteristics of her Mum! I was surprised what a close bond she had with us at such a young age, and how differently she responded to us, compared with others. This was particularly obvious to us given our situation, as her heart and breathing monitors showed us numerically how much calmer she was while we were around. I suppose I knew this would be the case for Rebecca, but it touched me to see the connection Hannah had with me as well, looking into my eyes and responding to my voice. I love her and miss her so much!
It will be 11 weeks tomorrow since she left us to spend her days in a place much better than here. A place of peace, with none of the pain or hurt or rubbish that goes on in this world. Never have I longed for that place so much as I have over the past few months. I now understand what Paul meant when he said that compared with earth, being with Christ is “better by far”. When my days finally come to an end, I will be waiting to give her a big hug, and to let her know that Daddy missed her and loves her so much.
Grief is a strange thing. Having never experienced any pain that even comes close to losing my daughter, it feels like walking down a very unfamiliar road. While some days I feel Rebecca and I walk the same road together; some days each of us seem to be walking different roads. Occasionally we meet, which is nice and hard at the same time. But as the weeks and months go on, it seems like our grief journeys are more and more different.
As a man I feel I can often get so consumed by my work, or general daily life, that I can forget about Hannah for periods. Or maybe not forget, but manage to bury her into a deeper part of me. This often makes me feel guilty, as Rebecca’s grief is still so raw and at the surface. It seems that Hannah pervades every part of everything she is doing, whereas my thoughts of her come in intense, focused waves. Seeing Rebecca so distraught has hurt me almost as much as the pain of losing Hannah. It takes not being able to ‘fix it’ to a whole new level! Sometimes I don’t even feel I can cry with her, as my surface level grief has been so expended that there doesn’t appear to be anything left.
As we journey together we have wept, grown, given, received, and wept some more. It feels like our relationship is building stronger through the loss of Hannah; but I am more and more aware that we have only taken the first few steps on a journey that has no obvious route or destination. I pray every day that God will guide us, and comfort us, and build us along the way, that we might help others on similar or different journeys, and ultimately come to know Him even more.
God Bless and talk to you again soon.