The last couple of weeks that led up to this week have been quite rough for me on a personal level. So, please excuse me if this post turns out to be a bit of bumbling mess.
Today, you see, is my dad's birthday.
Same time last year, I did not get to greet my dad a Happy Birthday, as I was unable to get a hold of him on the phone that day. So, I thought I'd just call him in the next couple of days or so instead. But, I never got that chance, as just a few days after his birthday, he suffered a stroke. He passed away shortly after.
I am still grieving for those missed moments. And, I still can't believe that I will never get that chance to greet him a Happy Birthday again. Not on this earth anyway.
In any case, today marks the beginning of my week-long memorial for my dad's first death anniversary.
As far as I recall, families and friends normally get together for such a situation. To mourn the loss. To celebrate the life that a departed loved one has had. To remember.
But, I am here in Australia, while my sister is in Manila and my two brothers are in the US. And, our mom's visiting one of my brothers. So, we can't exactly have a "typical" family memorial. I can't even visit and put flowers or anything like that on his grave.
That's why I am just winging the whole memorial bit.
Preparing special meals for my family here in Australia is something that I hope to do, as I know that my dad loved food and home cooked meals. I already started today, and explained to the kids that it was to celebrate Lolo's birthday. To let them know that we always remember the people that we love, even though they're gone. My son ended up waving towards the sky at dinner time, to say hello to his Lolo, who used to enjoy playing bowling and other games with him. My son is probably the only grandchild who will have some memories of my dad.
Anyway, I have also taken note of the monumental Pacquiao vs Hatton boxing match, as my dad would've been over the moon with the whole thing. He was definitely a boxing fan.
And, I also took some time to look at some of the photos from my family's last visit to Manila in Nov/Dec 2007. That was the last time that I've had the chance to be with my dad. The photo that you see here was taken from that trip*. Quite bittersweet to look at, I must admit.
But yeah, this is a lot harder than I thought. People tell me it's going to get easier with time. I'd like to believe it.
* Yes, that's my dad, with my husband and two kids.
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.