Grief is a most personal thing.
Every person grieves differently; they view the loss of a loved one in respect of what they themselves have lost.
While I have been upset by family deaths in the past, I have never really grieved as they are usually too distant to impact my own existence and I am able to move on.
Now I am mired in grief for my step-father. Whilst not my biological father, he was an important part of my life for nearly forty years, and back in the day he and I used to sit and talk about all sorts of things important in my little life - work and relationships. And we loved each other, me loving the father figure and him loving the child who turned to him for support.
Now he is gone I grieve deeply for the lifelong friend I have lost.
Rather than remembering the sick old man in the hospital bed, I am trying to remember him as the man who always greeted me with smiles and a bearhug, who allowed me teach him to swim, who persuaded my mother that I should be permitted to leave school and go to work, who bought me my first ever adult posh dress, who worked it so I could stay to the end of the school disco when my mum wanted me home early and who encouraged me to practice my driving in his very expensive car. So many little things he did for me over the years which have helped shape my life.
I want to be able to say a fond farewell to my friend at his funeral and then move on with my life, carrying his memory in my heart.