On 13th of July 2015, my father passed away suddenly, which left an overwhelming feeling of grief and despair on myself and my family. Dealing with his passing was the most difficult thing I have ever dealt with. In the time since his passing, I received comments from other men & women who experienced similar and who were wondering how other people were dealing with it.
Losing a parent, in my opinion is one of the most difficult things in the world and people want to know how to deal with it, which is why I felt compelled to write this as my first blog post.
Not one day has passed where I haven't thought of him, and some days the pain is as raw and fresh as if it happened two days ago, not two years ago.
Some days I feel a rude wave of shock, like I honestly cannot believe it ever happened. The reality that you will never see this person again, is really hard for a human being to process on an emotional level, regardless of how much time has passed.
Losing dad pushed me into a stage in my life, I didn't neccesarily choose myself. Sometimes I sit and ponder if he were still here, would things be different or if this path I am on now would be the same.
Grief can be one of the most powerful agents of change; it offers us an opportunity to experience tremendous growth, this certainly can be positive or negative. The path you take, is dictated by being an active participant in this positive change. If we do nothing, the greif will eventually destroy us, which is something we all see far too often, which to be very honest, was my greatest fear.
Grief is a powerful emotion, and it will surely take us more quickly than anything else we may experience.
The trick is whether we decide to stay and truely face it, or continue to deny this part of ourselves and let is fester. I decided I would stay and face it. It was very uncomfortable and difficult to say the least.
All the emotions involved in dealing with the death of those close to us is really hard to articulate in words - nothing we say can truly do justice to the experience.
I knew for the rest of my life I would carry this loss with me and my goal was to not totally rid myself of the sadness and heartbreak but rather build a life I truly wanted to live that I know my father would be incredibly proud of. A life that he would proudly say 'that's my daughter'.
We are all aware that life is short and you can't waste a minute of it, but this truth only tends to hit when death touches us personally.
I spent a lot of time replaying memories and trying my hardest remember the fine details. The shape of his face, the way he laughed, his stance on certain things, when I begun to burn myself out just not letting go. I was spending all of my days clinging to everything that related directly to my dad. The first man I ever loved, my protector and my best friend was no longer there, what a lonely feeling.
Thinking back on the beautiful memories we shared together and revisiting the advice he offered me over the time when I would come to him with an issue whether it be financial, social or over love life, he always had the most comforting advice that I some day aspire to offer in return to my loved ones. During these conversations, he would always brew me up a cup of his favourite tea. He was always far more adventurous with his blends then I ever was.
I spent the first year since he passed trying to find something that I could do, personally, professionally or emotionally that I could feel fulfilled knowing he would be proud of me. Having him leave us so suddenly, left so much doubt, hurt, anger in some parts and so many questions, it made it so difficult to have a clear vision on what it was that I needed to do to get the fulfilment and acceptance I was searching for.
On a long haul flight home from Los Angeles in January, I spent the entire 14 hours awake watching movies and thinking, as a busy person like myself does. And I subconsciously realised that the journey I needed to start was a tea business offering our favourite blends we shared to people all over Australia with a beautiful meaning behind the blend and of course naming it after him, Paul.
It obviously took some time working out the finer details of the business and it has most certainly been a journey, which I am incredibly proud of.
Pauly & co for me is something I put a whole lot of love and energy into, for so many clear reasons. Creating a beautiful business and positive experience out of something which could have potentially gone either way, is something I feel very passionately about, not just because for me, it means everything, but for others who I know have trouble expressing how they are feeling due to grieving the loss of a loved one.
To be able to create a business is one thing, but to create something which people can relate to and can see that someone else has done it so surely they can too, is immensely fulfilling
I wanted to create the vision of strength and inspiration to others who have been or will be in my situation and need that extra boost to keep going.
Trust me when I say, let it consume you, and it will.
Let it become the reason you're a fighter and you will fight everyday for that passion, fire and love inside of you, and I promise, you will be unstoppable!