By Suzy Crossley

It has been seven years since my absent alcoholic father died from heart failure in 2015, when I was 16, and as time moves on the only thing I have learnt is that this loss continues to get harder and more confusing.

The first years were spent trying to wrap my hear around the intricacies of grief; realising how it fundamentally changes you as a person and how you view your life, while simultaneously being a teenager.

In more recent years, I have become a young woman and time has moved on, creating space for the shock of his death. I believe this is when grief gets inexplicably harder. I now battle with a loss that I can no longer wrap my hands around but is, at the same time, present in every part of me and inevitably how I relate to the world.

I am tried. It’s part of me. I own it.

I carry it on my back every day, in every aspect of my life, every encounter, every song I listen to, every conversation I have, every thought, daydream, night-time dream and so on. It’s always there simmering under the surface, a white noise that won’t go away.

I have been wildly struck with the fact that I lost a dad who I didn’t have in the first place – anyone with an addict parent will understand this. I lost a possible opportunity in the future to try and build a relationship with someone who I am half of.

And finally admitting to myself that the thing that I silently and painfully want the most in my life is my dad and I will never, ever, have this. All I do as a balm to sooth this pain is let myself feel like this. Feel myself drift away from my dad as every year passes.

Always hoping that I can give the waves of grief the attention, time and space they need and so desperately deserve.