Miranda has been absent for a while dealing with the loss of her step father. Here she talks movingly about how mourning and being a parent at the same time brings a whole new dimension to the fog of grief.
Saved article for later
Hello all, our first encounter was brief and then I disappeared, and these lovely ladies who run this website have been incredibly kind and patient.
My last year has been difficult to say the least. I lost my beloved Stepfather, Gareth Smith last year, suddenly and shockingly.
I lost my Father Alan Jasper at the age of 17 so it has been a huge blow….again.
I wanted to write this piece as my grief this time round, I share with my children who have lost their beloved ‘Papa G’. Their grief is keenly felt as they loved and adored him. Which is a funny place for me, as my father doesn't get a look in, he is a handsome face in a picture frame, with a brunette child hugging him. The brunette child looks like my son, but with bunches.
Finality is a terrible thing. I have been through it once but as an only child, it was just my grief. With the passing of my wild, wonderful, loving, generous Stepfather, I now have two heart-broken children and I can't ease their pain. That is a hard thing for me to bear.
Mummy's can always take away their children's pain. Now I can't. We talk about him, share our memories of him. We have a video to watch and voice clips to listen to. I hope I am doing the right things, the thing is……I don't know if I am. There are books I am sure, but no one knows the right or wrong way to do it, like motherhood, we all just wing our way through it and hope for the best.
Gareth never had children of his own, he was also younger than my mother, he lived life before he met us, exactly the way he wanted. I loved him very much, he was a revelation to me. When he retired from the city he spent every day at my house with me and the children, causing havoc, playing wii, telling jokes, games, bringing inappropriate treats before supper, but above all, bringing laughter and fun. Now his absence is so keenly felt by us all, the house seems empty.
As we approach the year of his passing and I watch my children trying, for my sake, not to crumble it makes me sad and proud all at the same time.
Two days ago Tabitha gave me a turquoise stone heart and said "Mummy, Papa is in this heart, take it, hold it in your hands; He's there, he's waiting for you" she's five years old.
She melts my heart.
And William who is older, his pain is more acute and harder to soothe, as he said to me "I get it now Mum, I will never see him again and that hurts my heart, sometimes I want to cry but there are no more tears in my juice box".
So Gareth, who would be so surprised by our outpouring of grief, we love you, you are in our life every day. Not bad for a self-confessed arse hole. (his words!). Sleep well, we miss you