Yep it's finally here, Father's Day Mark II, time really flys!! For me the first year after losing someone was pretty numbing but than the actual emotions start to take over and things get way tougher. It didn't help losing my pony Eclipse (28) in the six months after losing my Dad, then Fergie (our other elderly horse friend 24) six months after Eclipse so it seems life threw a bag of lemons at my head for 2015/2016!
A shout out for all the people I know who have lost family and animal friends, we still love them and we should be allowed to express that when we can. Also it is a reminder to appreciate the wonderful people in your life now especially Father's, good ones who are always supportive, encouraging and there for you through thick and thin.
In this blog I would like to mention a few things:
Firstly my sister-in-laws' book, "The Bloom Girls" by Emily Cavanagh is still available to buy on Amazon. Emily launched her book in March 2017.
Without giving away anything or being biased, "The Bloom Girls" which may I say is a total page turner and I couldn't put it down; In it three sisters react to the death of their father, which given today is very fitting, Emily wrote this book long before the death of my Dad, and picking it up in April when it finally arrived I must say the first chapters were very difficult emotionally, but eventually as it was a gripping read, it became somewhat cathartic!
However it just this I wish to mention. Her main character Cal does exactly what I thought I would do when my father died as we had many a close call with him and death for years before his paper thin heart finally took him. Cal curls up and shuts the world out completely despite having her own family. And there has been days since I wish I could do exactly that especially the hardest days like Christmas and his birthday which Birthday Mark II is also coming up. This is not how it happened for us as a family and I did not do that at the time, you carry on, there are flights to book, funeral arrangements to discuss, coffins, flowers and music to choose, people to meet and greet having had a wake in the house for him. Funerals are actually busy affairs and it is only in the coming weeks, months, years after that the process of grief is allowed in, in various stages to allow healing. This is not a book review or a criticism mainly a catalyst for the following point - about giving oneself all the time in the world one needs for grief no matter how long and what that process entails for you as a person.
Secondly through that process what have I tried to help the healing process is as follows, as I have both the misfortune and luck (you can look at it both ways) of not having solid work for the last year and a half!
I started an online course in Java programming in November with SOLAS and am due to finish it in a few months.
This led to a free online course in "Writing for Children" with Universal class and the Cork County Library which I should have finished, I am still on Unit 7 of 10 as I took on too much online stuff and I need to also job hunt!
But what really helped the healing process is actually getting out of the house and actually meeting people because spending time online all the time was not helpful at all in the long run:
So for the last five months, two evenings a week I attend an "Acting for Camera Course" with the Irish Film Academy which was recommended to me by SECAD to build my confidence, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, of course some-days I didn't feel like seeing anyone and I forced myself to go in but those where the days I learned most and felt like I achieved more out of it. I must say being on the other side of the camera gave me a massive appreciation of the role actors play in the creative process of film-making. Partly the joy is in the learning process of this and learning from the best, the maestro that Tom Kibbe is at teaching but the other part is meeting the people in your group on their own personal journeys, watching how they also evolve and the warm welcome I got every-time I walked through the door. Thank you so much all and I hope to be back soon :)
Ok so I might not have a proper show-reel on that side of the camera yet as I am still a novice but I did finally lash in an application for my dream job on crew in TG4 which are hiring in August and as such have now started an intensive course in Irish with GaelChultur in preparation for an interview that may or may-not happen but to at least keep the skills I learned in Ballyferriter back in October alive, and also to keep meeting people as it is good for the soul!
Thirdly, were I am at, the next step in many baby steps is attending a full-time course in Front End Web Development run by the Cork Education and Training Board, CETB. I have just spent the first three days on it and already have met some very interesting people and have been thoroughly enjoying up-skilling in various areas of photo-shop I have become rusty in. However as I was with CETB than known as FÁS 8 years before part of me felt like I was going backwards, and sometimes you do have to back to go forwards!
Where will this lead to... who knows. I do hope there are full-time creative jobs out there in Web Development but I will also be looking at the option of self employment more closely so it will be a watch this space scenario ;)
Finally for those of you who are still riding the waves of the grieving process like me and I know there are many which is heartbreaking but a huge dose of reality too :/ I want to share the following site with you that has been a huge resource of helpful articles for me, I've shared it before but I want to do it as many times as I can "Recover from Grief"
And where-ever you are in your healing process or whomever close ones you are missing greatly on the "Hallmark" days and all the days in between know you are not alone and there are lots of good people out there experiencing the same emotions. I think the suffering and pain of loss shows how greatly the love was for that person and that is nothing to fear or be sorry for and that in itself is actually quite beautiful.