Happy Birthday Dad

This is my Dad. Mark Jolly. Father of four and mini cab driver from Sydenham in south east London.

Today is his birthday. We should be celebrating.

Except, 11 years ago, just two weeks after his birthday, my daddy died. By suicide.

And these are his grandchildren.

Lily and Oliver. Grandchildren he never met. And I find that I'm overwhelmed today. Not just by sadness and the grief that lies always below the surface, waiting to raise its ugly head. But also by frustration. And anger.

And helplessness.

So today is a struggle. You can't wallow in grief as a parent. I don't even really want to really. But you can't go back to bed, hide under the covers and sob.

I wish I could explain to my kids why I'm feeling 'a bit sad' today. Why I'm a bit snappier than usual. Why my enthusiasm for playing with happyland is a bit forced.

But how could they ever understand something I can't even get my head round after a decade of thinking about it?

So I'm doing my best but failing at parenting today. I wish I could tell them how sorry I am.

Almost as much as I wish I could say happy birthday to my Dad.

Cuddle Fairy

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