28/08/2014 08:24 BST | Updated 27/10/2014 05:59 GMT

A Year On: Reflections on 12 Months of Grieving for My Father


It's hard to imagine that a year has passed since my father passed away to cancer. It still feels like yesterday. I can still hear his voice and I can feel his warmth. But the reality is that it is now a whole full year since that fateful day.

Some say time heals, others say that the pain will never go away but you learn to live with it. I'm inclined to mostly agree with the latter. But have I actually learned to live with the pain?

When my father died, I was in denial for a long time; I refused to believe his diagnosis and clinged to the hope that a miracle would come along and save the day right up until the very last minute of the very last day.

As is evident, it sadly never did.

This last year, I have been thinking a lot about death and what it actually means; I still can't really grasp it. It's unbelievably difficult to understand the reality of death and how its possible for someone who was present one minute, someone who has been there your entire life, can suddenly be gone, whisked away out of the blue. For all our scientific breakthroughs, as humans we still find it hard to comprehend what happens when we die; it's been a mystery throughout our existence.

One of my favorite actors Robin Williams passed away recently. He was two months younger than my dad. When I heard the news about his death I found myself surrounded by a heavy cloud of sadness. I soon realised that I had always subconsciously associated the two of them. On screen Robin Williams expressed exactly the same type of warmth and interest in humanity that my father did. When, the following the day, I watched my favorite Robin Williams film, Good Will Hunting, the feeling overwhelmed me again. I found it incredibly unjust that he was no longer amongst us, just as I everyday find it unjust my dad is no longer amongst us.

Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder what my dad would make of the events taking place in the world today. I often discussed world affairs with him; I was always interested in his take on things as he was always well informed and sympathetic to the rights and needs of the most vulnerable in society. A a lawyer these were issues he worked with everyday. I imagine he would be upset by the human rights crimes being committed by Israel, Syria and Egypt, I imagine he would share his strong dissatisfaction with the Danish government ignoring the rights of the weakest in our society and he would probably have made special note of interesting green developments that he thought would interest me. I miss those discussions, I miss his empathy for people, and I miss his interest in the things I was passionate about.

So have I learned to live with my fathers passing? It's a fairly simple answer. Yes. I accept it has happened. But it will never pass and like an illness his death will be with me every day for the rest of my life. That, I am absolutely sure of.