Reading Dad's Journals

My beloved Dad kept journals for many years. He died in 2008. And now I have to read them…

Month: December, 2012

It’s Xmas: time to unwrap myself for you

I’ve had a quiet Dec 25th, mainly by myself. A few phone calls and texts, plus a pancake breakfast with friends to start me off. Last night I read a few Blogs, wandered around WordPress, and realized I need to introduce myself a bit more!

So ‘Hello’. I’m Gabrielle. I live in Adelaide (for now- bit of a gypsy), and I’m 46. Do these facts matter? Perhaps.

My Dad died suddenly when I was 42 (it was definitely NOT the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, thanks Douglas), and it threw me utterly and completely. He’d just been visiting my son and I here, then Dad and I had flown to Sydney to see the rest of the Aussie branch of the family for the weekend. He’d insisted on getting up at 7am Monday morning to walk me to the bus stop for the airport shuttle as I returned to work in Adelaide. We’d walked sleepily through the still-partying Kings Cross nightclub area, not talking much, but feeling the oncoming sadness of saying goodbye getting closer. He lived in Canada, on Vancouver Island, and I hadn’t seen him for three years; that was the usual time between visits. We spoke every fortnight on the phone though, and I looked forward to our chats very much. He was the one who called everybody: our far-flung extended family members (USA/UK/Oz/NZ/Norway/France) plus old friends/neighbours/business colleagues. He loved to keep in touch, and keep us all in touch with each others’ news.

On this Monday, we’d walked quietly to the bus stop, and I’d been a bit grumpy I recall (not enough sleep + no breakfast yet = not my best mood). But as always, he’d given me a big, tight hug, and patted my back, and told me he wouldn’t leave it so long between visits next time. That made me feel good. And I hugged him back real tight, because I loved my Dad.

Four days later he was dead.

And this Blog is going to help me process the daunting task I face of dealing with his 20 years of personal journals that I received 3 weeks ago. My dear friend Shane can’t understand why I haven’t ripped The Box open? I admit it’s fear. Fear of triggering more deep sadness and loss, as well as fear of what I’m going to find out about my Dad.


So that’s my layer off for the 25th, while the majority of my countrymen and women sit with over-stuffed bellies on plump couches, pecking and clucking at each other like fat hens.

I hope you all felt Love today, whether in realtime, or via blessed communication networks, and shared a smile.

It’s nice to meet you, gg x

Ladies and Gentlemen: introducing The Box

Contains over 20 years of personal journals. Yikes.

Contains over 20 years of personal journals. Yikes.

In a moment of enthusiasm and bravado, I admit I cut through the outer cover. But that was too much. It’s going back under the stairs for now, where it can hum at me as much as it likes- I ain’t openin’ it any further!

Four years of waiting

My father Lawrence died in October 2008, aged 73. He had kept meticulous daily diaries, plus more personal journals. Three weeks ago, a box finally arrived which contains the journals. I’m calling it The Box. His writing spans relationship breakups, childhoods, romances, world travel, family losses, and his most private thoughts and responses. I have to read them. But I’m scared shitless of what I’ll find. This Blog is going to follow and support me in this process, and document the journey. I hope to use it to feed the book I am working on about losing my Dad, and to exchange insights and comfort with others. I will also try to be funny. So I’ll be back, and look forward to your comments as we go…

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