Five Things I've learnt since my Pa died in 2017 from a rare brain disease, by Gemma Parkes.

By Gemma Parkes   whose father died from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare neurodegenerative brain disease, in 2017

By Gemma Parkes
whose father died from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare neurodegenerative brain disease, in 2017

  1. People say after one year of firsts grief gets easier and lighter, but this is not true, at least not for me, although perhaps it changes.

  2. I miss him every day, in so many ways. I sometimes think it gets more painful as time goes on as I want to tell him and show him and ask him things and share new laughs and thoughts and dreams.

  3. Most surprising is the force field around the negative space: the special and unique, unfillable space he has left in his wake, and how that impacts every single other thing. 

  4. He was a blessing in my life and gone too soon, but I know our spirits will be intertwined forever. I carry him with me and I see him in sunshine, serendipity and the sea, and all of this is a source of light, cheer, strength and hope. 

  5. I was with Pa when he went peacefully, holding his hand and reading him one of our Westerns: Louis L’Amour’s The Cherokee Trail, page 79, “Some night soon, we will read, and we will not wait for winter to come to tell our stories” was the last line we shared. Life is precious and fleeting, and to be cherished while we can.

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About Gemma Parkes
Gemma is a communicator, campaigner, translator, actor, ocean lover, digital nomad, global citizen and friend. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.