What a heavy word to even look at, let alone spell! i before e, except after c blah blah blah.

On a more serious note, today marks 4 years since my Daddio left us and what a ride it has been! The loss of him has been such an eye-opening, heavy learning, a push to do what feels right and an excuse to live life to the fullest no matter what kinda ride it brings experience!!! 

When someone you love closely (this is my personal experience only) passes away the moments, minutes, days & all time after is a time you can never prepare for. My dad passed away in Trenton @ The Legion while dancing across the dance floor with a blow-up guitar which he air played the whole way back to his table for a sip of beer where he just never got up again! Talk about going out in a blaze of glory! Lol! He had wishes and I remember them. “I don’t want to die alone; I want to be happy and I don’t want to suffer!” #naileditdad

All of these memories can feel funny to talk about now but in that moment, which I remember very vividly and clearly there were no funny moments. I remember my conversation with the nurse on the phone, I can remember thanking them for doing their best, I remember thinking I was going to text him yesterday (do things when you think of them, don’t wait!!) but I said I would text him Canada Day because he was on the boat and having a blast! I remember having to tell Hewett that Grampa Itchie Balls had passed away and that he wasn’t coming back-that was when shit got real. When you have to tell people and see their reaction and handle your own at the same time-that is the worst. Especially when everyone loved him so much! 

The first few days and weeks after his death were honestly a blur. I remember all of the messages and all I could do was reply with a heart emoji, all the food being dropped off, all the flowers arriving, all the well wishes and love came pouring in which helped to stay afloat during those days-so thankful for my people.

I remember wanting to sleep a lot but not being able to due to panic attacks, not wanting to get out of bed but not being able to stay still, not eating but making sure my drinks were strong and shared and funnily enough needing to tan in the sun-A LOT…then after a few days I went into survival mode and off to work I went. After about 2 months back to work I realized my return was way too soon and I ended up taking a leave from work-and I never went back, lol. I realized quickly that life was too short!!  I have always been someone who speaks my mind but it allowed me to make sure that my days moving forward were not wasted in any way, nor was my time being put into people and places that didn’t fuel me, nurture me or provide the same in return. My motto was/is and will forever be to make sure to be too much, love too much and show your true self- it won’t take long to see where that takes you and who will be along for the ride. It won’t allow you to waste time or energy in the wrong places.

Take care of yourself first (tattoo on my arm is a daily reminder- After me, you come first) your mental health and don’t let others compare your loss to theirs or to those around them. They don’t get to say how you grieve or how long it should last-nope they are not riding the same coaster as you and frankly they can go fuck right off!

Grief was described to me by my energy therapist and has been described by many since that loss like the tide at the beach. Some days the water ripples are so small you can barely feel them but you know they are there and other days the waves are so huge you just drown. It is ebbs and flow, it is tears and it is joy, it is memories that are painful and happy at the very same time, it is wanting to scream and laugh simultaneously, it is even being angry at people when they drive by you walking your dog and they have the nerve to smile at you when you are broken inside. It is a bunch of everything cursing through your body all at the same time with no answers. It is not being able to make small decisions but knowing damn well that decisions have to be made, it is all this and so much more. 

Now each day moving forward, although described as easier, it is actually not easier. I personally feel the heart just gets less sore and therefore allows for more joy to creep in and take up more space than the sadness does. I believe all sadness isn’t negative. I think that sadness can bring you a sense of awareness and empathy for those that experience loss around you. It allowed me to understand shock in a more accepting way and to know that feelings like those don’t and won’t last forever. It also allowed me to be vulnerable and to open up more about feelings, emotions and so much more. There is always light somewhere and it will find you.

I sort of hate to celebrate the anniversary of shitty days that have happened and definitely prefer to celebrate the life lived instead but I understand that this day and date is forever etched in my mind as a crap one BUT only on that exact day to be honest because for me moving forward each year on this day while it brings memories of sadness it brings so much more than that. It brings all the funny stories, it brings amazing memories, it brings photo dumps, it brings communication with many people I love, it even brings special meals and foods to be enjoyed. Life is for the living and if anyone would want me to live- it is my Daddio AKA Grampa Itchie Balls! (Hewett couldn’t say Grampa Richie so it became Grampa Itchie and then in this family…well we always add the balls)

Cheers to you Daddio today and everyday. I promise to make today a great day and I will say it in front of the mirror like you used to every morning to yourself. You vain bugger you-just wanted to look at yourself all the time eh?!?! 

I look towards you…


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