Closed for refurbishment (6): Begin a new chapter

You’ll never be able to erase your memory of this person, but you can use the experience to better yourself and to help others. If you wronged someone, resolve never to make the same mistake again, and take it a step further: help others avoid making the same mistake you did. If you were a victim, reach out to other victims, and teach others how to avoid the wrongdoing that you faced. Make the end of your relationship with that person a turning point in your life. Start moving in a new direction.

The new direction for my partner and me is moving to France, its very exciting that we are doing this. We have lived together in Manchester, Preston, Spain, London, San Francisco and Wales – so being somewhere different and new does not scare us.

Moving, allows us to move physically away from some of the pain experienced and also gives us space and miles away from people who have hurt us. We are moving on –  in more ways than expected, and I welcome and invite the challenge and in doing this I wish myself health, happiness, inner peace, joy, green fingers and calm – as I wish the same to others too 🙂


Closed for refurbishment (5): Write a story

Think back to when your relationship with this person began, and document it from beginning to end. This may be very painful, but it will give you a broader perspective. When you get to the final chapter, finish off on a positive note and write “The End”. If you’re writing in a notebook, close it forcefully, take a deep breath, and put it on a bookshelf. If you wrote on loose leaf papers, fold them, put them in an envelope, and seal it. You may choose to keep the story, or you may choose to shred it or burn it. The very act of documenting your relationship and closing the book, however, will help you find closure emotionally.

Writing the eulogy for my father enabled me to discover and make peace with my relationship with my father and be reminded of the person he was. It was like discovering someone I used to know. I realised how difficult he could be with people. I really do hope that I don’t end up being like that, I want people to think good things about me, but sometimes I think that my father lives on in me more than I realise.

With the eulogy that I wrote I had a picture of my dad that he had recently given to me, I didn’t really understand why he had given me the picture, perhaps he knew all along that he was ill and wanted me to have a happy memory.


At the end of the funeral service, with out realising I was doing so, I placed the picture and eulogy in the envelope and closed it. Perhaps I was finding some sense of closure without realising it at the time.

And so I write another story.

I arrived into your life and you welcomed me, we were close, as an only child I felt for the first time the feeling and meaning of having a family to bond with and for those times, for the fun, for the good times I will always remain happy and grateful.

Saying a final goodbye is an odd thing, saying goodbye to someone who has died, although painful, does have the finality about it, saying goodbye to someone or people who are still alive, knowing we may never meet again feels sad and yet with a purpose of moving on I continue – although ever hopeful

I cannot continue to have hope for a relationships over, it does me no good, and for this reason I say goodbye, wishing you well, I send you a blessing of love and inner peace –  I cannot wait, just for the chance that things will resolve, this serves no purpose and is just a reminder that things have changed, things change, life moves on, we move on, I move on.

I loved you, you were my family, families change, life changes, we grow – and move on. Goodbye


Closed for refurbishment (4): Have a symbolic ceremony

People still hold funerals for the deceased whose bodies were never found, and you can still have a formal way to say goodbye to relationships that were never resolved. Gather all of the things that remind you of this person and burn them, or donate them to charity. Give a eulogy to the relationship, and say it out loud.

I gave the eulogy at my fathers funeral, I found the experience useful although incredible emotional – this is what I wrote:

I would like to thank people for attending on this sad occasion.

I do not think of my dad, John and think of sadness.

I remember a man who was born in Blackpool and had a difficult time being a young man, who couldn’t wait to leave home and join the army, where he served in Egypt. Anyone who knew my dad would know some of the stories he told, it was a hard life being there, but I always sensed pride in his experiences

On his return to the UK he joined the police, I remember the story he used to tell me about working for the CID and dressing as a tramp to catch criminals, its hard to imagine, but true. It is funny that many years later I used to work as a kissogram, sometimes, dressing as a policeman

I remember that my father was disowned by his own parents because of who he choose to marry, something that I always found difficult to comprehend, but I see how strong my father was, willing to give up family for the person who he loved

I remember one year, the night before we were going away on holiday, my dad messing around with the police handcuffs and then not being able to unlock them, and the panic we had thinking that my dad would be boarding the plane looking like a criminal off a film, we even planned to cover the handcuffs with a well placed jumper so that no one would notice, thankfully, we managed to unlock the cuffs

I remember as a child being taken on holiday to Spain and Italy when I was 9 and 10, I was very fortunate to experience these adventures, my father never shyed away from new experiences, something that I have inherited

I thought that it was funny that our first holiday in Salou in Spain in 1973 would be the place I worked many years later as a DJ in 1989

I remember my dads love of good food and wine, how my dad could be the life and soul of the party, how he made his cheeky jokes to make people smile

I remember how my father used to hatch plans on how to buy bottles of Johnnie Walker whiskey abroad when it was banned in England, he could be sneeky like that

I remember how blessed I am to have such a generous father, who never held back when I or others needed help or assistance. For me this is a path that I have followed, in my work I have had roles that help and support people

I remember that my dad had only one question for me, ‘are you happy’?

Because of all my dads experiences in life, made him a complex man, an individual, who didn’t always get on with everyone, but aren’t we all like that in some way

All my life I had people telling me how much I looked like my father, I guess that I always found this difficult as I always wanted to be seen as me

One day in my early 20’s I was in Blackpool meeting a mate and I saw my father walking towards me, my instant thought was ‘what’s my father doing here’? of course I then realised that I was indeed looking at my reflection in a shop window and I realised that I did indeed look like my father, even I thought I did

It is because of all these things that make the last year so difficult to take in and understand I still don’t understand what has happened and why he is not here

But I know that John, my dad was proud of me and I am of my dad and all he accompanied in his life

I do not want people to think of my dad with sad thoughts, I want people to remember a strong man, an individual, a generous man, my father, husband to Lillian, step father to John, father in law to Paul and Elaine, grandfather to Jenna

Closed for refurbishment (3): Apologize

If you feel guilt or shame, if you are the one who needs forgiveness, then apologize. But it’s not as simple as saying or thinking “I’m sorry.” Grab a pen and paper and write a full-blown apology, keeping the following in mind:
  • There is no excuse. Do not try to think of or offer one. An apology with an excuse is not an apology. Take full responsibility for what you did.
  • Make it a point to avoid using the word “but”. (“I am sorry, but…” means “I am not sorry.”)
  • Do not say “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry if you were offended” –it makes it seem like you are blaming the other person for feeling a certain way, and is not a real apology.
  • Think about what caused you to make the offense. Find the underlying problem, describe it to the person (as an explanation, not an excuse), and tell them what you intend to do to rectify that problem so that you can avoid this mistake in the future.

I am sorry dad for not being able to take care of you better

I am sorry dad for believing you would get better and not seeing how ill you really were

I am sorry for not knowing my father better as he grew older

I am sorry that we won’t be able to see each other again

I am sorry that the hospital let you down when you deserved so much better

I am sorry if I ever hurt you