Grief does not go away.
My Dad died in April 2014 and I’m still reeling. He was an actor and he travelled extensively. I missed him terribly when I was a child. Even though I know that he is gone, his absence still feels temporary. There’s a small part of me that expects him to show up with his wheelie suitcase and come bustling into the kitchen and say ‘Make us a cup of tea, will you love?’ When I realise that he is never coming back, the grief comes crashing down all over again.
Love does not go away.
Dad and I were very close; from the moment I was born we had an instinctive, ironclad bond. Our relationship was not always easy, in fact we went to therapy together in an effort to improve it. I’m so grateful that we did because by the time he was diagnosed with a terminal illness, our relationship was easy. There was no unfinished business and no unspoken resentments. I was able to give him absolute love and support in his final years. His last words to me where ‘You’re the most beautiful girl in the world and I love you so much’.
Anger is ok.
There are periods when I’ve been furious that he is not here anymore. For a long time I couldn’t watch TV dramas or films because so many actors have worked with my dad. Seeing them alive while my dad is dead made me burn with white-hot rage. I’ve realised that I have no choice but to let it out; I’ve screamed into pillows, thrashed it out while doing strenuous cardio and even taken a plastic baseball bat to a cushion from the sofa. It’s essential that the anger comes out, because if it stays in will turn into poison and make me bitter and sad. Pain that is not transformed will be transmitted; I have to work through those feelings so I don’t take them out on those around me. I used to be afraid of my rage but now I let it do it’s thing, then I let it go.
The best tribute to a lost loved one is to live well.
Facing the rest of my life without my dad can be overwhelming. When the grief is too much to bear, I try to remember what he would want me to do. I think about the sound of his voice, the way he could calm my anxiety and reassure me that everything would be ok. I know he would want me to live a happy, adventurous, creative and enthusiastic life. If I can get the most out of every day, even if I do have to do it with a hole in my heart, I know he’d smile and I’d make him proud.
You can’t move on, but you can move forward.
Missing someone is like being in love; it’s a feeling that never goes away. Sometimes I think of Dad frequently and sometimes I don’t, but missing him is constant. It’s impossible to ‘move on’ because I can never replace him. I have accepted that I will always feel this way and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Making friends with the inevitable pain of life makes it easier to cope. The grief I feel is proportionate to the love we shared. I consider myself very lucky to have had a father who loved me unconditionally and that he was able to tell me before he died. I see his smile on the face of my son; I’ll pass his love to my boy and through us, Dad lives on.
About Rosa Hoskins
Rosa Hoskins is a writer and actor living in London. She has performed on stage, TV and film. Rosa also worked as a personal stylist and a fashion journalist. Her blog focuses on mental health, fashion and body image.
Rosa is the daughter of Bob Hoskins and grew up hanging out on movie sets with her dad. Bob was always supportive of all Rosa’s work projects, although sometimes a little bemused by her tendency to overdress. When Rosa lived at home with her parents, Bob’s usual response to her fashion choices were ‘Got your acceptance speech ready love?’ Rosa wrote a book about her life with her Bob called It’s All Going Wonderfully Well, which was published by Penguin Random House.
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