I wanted to share with you this story which I hope means something to those that read this. This is the story of my father Grant McLean who left us on November 1, 2016 and is now looking down on my mum, my two brothers, my sister and our families. This little narrative is describing the journey of grief I am enduring and how I am finding comfort and strength with what is still a very emotional time.
As an employee of HeavenAddress, I am so blessed to be a part of a community that assists family and friends by being able to remember our heroes and pay tribute to them by posting messages, photos and stories on the HeavenAddress website and social media pages. The tributes and messages are so personal, beautiful and touching, it’s difficult not to be moved by the emotion that is expressed on the platform and it is truly beautiful and moving.
Prior to November 1, I was only ever a part-time contributor to HeavenAddress, writing messages of condolence to those I knew that had lost someone special as well as my brother-in-law’s memorial page that was created nearly three years ago. I used to sit on the sidelines and observe the emotional outpouring, reading the stories and messages that are so positive around remembrance, paying tribute and painting an image of these hero’s that go before us.
My Dad was and is my hero and now I am a member of the HeavenAddress community as a contributor that is remembering this great man and all of the wonderful memories he left my family with.
I cry, I miss him and don’t stop thinking about him every day, however now being a part of a group that has experienced and is still experiencing the grief and loss of loving someone so close, I gain strength from all of the people that have been on the journey for many years as well as of more recent time. The frequent postings, the tributes, the memories, the stories of strength, the stories of support, it never ceases to amaze me how this community link arms and comfort one another, one another who are often strangers, I find this truly phenomenal.
Deep down I’m an emotional person, albeit many wouldn’t know this and I always wondered what it would be like when this event that we all dread finally arrived.
How would I deal with the grief and support my family?
Now I’m on the journey, one that I wished I wasn’t, I’m finding comfort in all of you wonderful people that lean on each other and share your inspiring stories. I look at the Facebook posts that appear on the HeavenAddress site and now they mean something different to me. Often I’d be left totally amazed at the number of comments, shares and likes that different Facebook posts would receive, but now I read them differently and my Dad is at the heart of all messages. This might be strange but it doesn’t make me sad, it makes me happy. Happy to be able to remember my Dad everyday with all of those positive thoughts that are provoked by the HeavenAddress Community. I don’t walk around with my head down, I walk around with my head up and I reflect on so many different memories and good times.
Why have I written this you might ask?
Because expressing my emotions through writing this is again helping me remember my hero and making my grief journey that little bit easier. I’m finding the more that I find ways to express how I’m feeling, to tell a story to someone about Dad or to simply be able to reflect, is having a positive effect on how I deal with missing my hero. While people will give you advice on how to handle and manage grief, I’m convinced that every human finds their own instinctive way of healing. Now that I’ve written this, I have a smile on my face because the whole time I’m writing this and reading it back, I’ve been thinking about the good times I had with my Dad. They won’t end here, the good times with him will just happen differently.
I would love to hear how you have dealt with your grief journey as mine has only just begun. I would love to hear about your hero(s) and how you manage your grief as I believe those in our community will find comfort, particularly those who may not be coping so well.
P.S my Dad’s HeavenAddress memorial page is below and if you don’t have a page for your loved one, we will set you up a memorial page which will be yours in perpetuity for FREE (normally AUD $180 plus GST) until 31 March 2017.
Create a FREE memorial page now.
Thank you for listening and keep the memories alive.
Matt is the Operations Manager at HeavenAddress and has been a part of the management team for 3 years. Matt is based in the Sydney head office and travels the world promoting the HeavenAddress community.