The words of a 'wise' bereavement counsellor. "It will get easier over time.
"You will look back in years to come and you'll be glad that you were there"
So - that was her own experience. As she described to me after I had explained my reason for making an appointment and waiting months to see someone. I thought the appointment was my time to explain my feelings not to listen to hers.
As you can probably guess, I didn't go back. I could have told myself the same things she told me. But at the time when the pain was still fresh I thought I would benefit from talking it through with someone other than family.
So has it got easier? In some ways - of course. It's been 18 years since I watched my Dad take his last breath. Time does indeed heal. To a point.
I don't think about him every day. I don't cry myself to sleep. I am no longer numb.
But a couple of times a year - particularly the anniversary of his death - I remember.
I remember the time leading up. The months watching his body betray him. Sad but also some very precious memories.
I also have some very vivid memories, including one of a Macmillan nurse who cut me to the quick. Not what I was expecting. I thought she could provide answers to the questions I had, that I didn't want to ask Dad or Ruth. "Why is chemo not an option.?.." being one. For which I received a damn good telling off... "Do you want your Dad to suffer more?".
(No love - of course I don't. I just don't want to ask my Dad the ins and outs and I am new to this cancer malarkey. And with you being an expert and all - and known to be sympathetic and supportive - I thought you could help me understand what is and isn't happening).
Didn't go and see her again either.
I have held onto these memories for years. Shared only with those close to me. The other bad memories - the ones that hurt so much - I won't share on here.
But I still find it very difficult to remember pre-cancer Dad. Those memories are further away in my mind - hidden behind the sights, sounds, smells, feelings of those final few days - Wednesday to Saturday.
From the moment Ruth rang me at work and asked me to come over - and to bring some spare knickers. To the last time I spoke to Dad (and he spoke to me) on the Thursday. To his final moments on the Saturday.
To the two lovely men who took him away with such care and compassion
The memories end there. I don't remember a great deal more.
I am sorry that I have shared this on what is usually a cheery blog. But maybe I need this. Maybe I need to write it all down. And maybe I need to write the full story down somewhere - somewhere not for sharing. If I expel it onto paper - will I expel the pain from inside me?
Anyway - as ever - here's a photo. One of my favourites. Pre-poorly Dad. With full-on beard and crinkly eyes.