Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | May 2021

Confessions of a Queenstown Dad | May 2021 1394 1396 The Flyer Magazine

I had the honour of officiating a funeral this week. It was a celebration of an amazing mums life that was tragically cut short due to the C word. This got me thinking about grief. Everyone grieves in their own way and that is ok, there’s no set way to do it and each person reacts in a unique way. Kids may fluctuate with the way they cope, from crying, to anger, to silence, to just pretending everything is alright.

With kids, I believe that even though they don’t necessarily have the coping, or processing skills of adults when it comes to grief, I think sometimes they do it better. They just let it out, and don’t care what people think. They ask the questions we as adults don’t, like when will I feel better again, when will it stop hurting. These are questions that I think adults think about but maybe don’t say out loud. But we should, I think its cathartic to ask those questions if we want too.

Me, I’m a silent griever, I don’t tend to get very emotional at the time, but it creeps up on me every now and then and I need to take a breath, pause and let the thought come, pass through me and go on its way.

I hadn’t had one of these moments for quite a while but I opened my phone up and a news article popped up about the government scrapping the 20 DHB’s into one mega one. With this article was a video that my brother was in. I think about him often, especially when I see my nieces but actually seeing him and hearing his voice made me stop, breath and remember something about Blair. Sometimes it’s a great memory of growing up on the farm, other times a funny memory of the trouble we got into as kids. Each memory reminds me of that fact that the dates on our gravestones aren’t really the important bits, it’s the dash in the middle that defines who we are. Blair’s dash was shorter than he had planned, but he made the best of that dash. He also has a legacy that is continuing to affect other peoples dash and helping them prolong the final number on their gravestones. This makes me proud of what he is still achieving and also reminds me that my job is to make sure my dash is the best dash it can be for my family and every person I come in contact with. When I meet people, their dash should be a little brighter, a little warmer and a little more jovial because of meeting me. If I can do this well then I may not change New Zealand as a whole, like Blair did. But I can help one person at a time with a smile, a laugh or an actual are you okay? (instead of just the usual how are ya, which always gets the same answer back).

Go and make your dash count,

Go and help someone else’s dash today.

Shaun

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