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
Unknown said...

Oh, Stephanie, I cannot imagine the questions, and countless emotions you must feel. Do something to remember your dad today, talk about him with your children. They say you don't truly die until someone says your name for the last time <3 Much love. #candidcuddles

Spectrum Mum said...

I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a massive hug. Be kind to yourself! 🌸

Anonymous said...

Suicide is so tough on everyone left behind, the effects last forever as do questions like why! I lost my best friend 7 years ago this July, wow how is it even that long it feels like 1 year maybe. I was pregnant with my son that she never got to meet, she never even knew I was having a boy or that I need up choosing her fav boy name. I haven't even looked at my wedding pics or DVD since! I always wish I could have somehow saved her. I know in reality I couldn't have. My dad was suicidal 5 years ago, but thankfully is now recovering. I can never say I know what it is like and I won't. Know that you are a good parent though, we all have tough days and our kids need to learn that too it helps them learn empathy and also not to hide their feelings when they are down. Take care lovely xx #candidcuddles

Becky said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This post really spoke to me because a few weeks ago I lost my grandpa. And when you say about not being able to wallow in grief, it is so true. I adore this quote and I had never seen it before but it made me burst into tears because that's exactly it. It hits the nail on the head. Thanks for sharing such a brave and honest post on #candidcuddles

Annette, 3 Little Buttons said...

Such a moving and honest post... sending you buckets of virtual hugs during this very difficult time for you all. Stay brave #candidcuddles

Cuddle Fairy said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This is so well written lovely & it really tells a strong story. You shouldn't feel guilty or bad about feeling sad on your dad's birthday. Your kiddies will understand it one day. Thank you for sharing with #candidcuddles - I'm looking forward to you co-hosting this Sunday! x

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