It’s Saturday morning and East Lancashire’s awoken to a rainfall deluge. Admittedly, not an uncommon meteorological landscape for those residing on the western foothills of the Pennines. Especially here in Heywood, whose precipitation is so extensive the town should be twinned with Niagara Falls.

Sadly, in a traumatic week which saw her mum cremated, this torrent can’t wash away the hurt and tears of my close friend Sam. The stomach wrenching melancholy consequential from loss of a much loved forebear unfortunately not that simple to discard….. If ever!

Almost three years to the day since my dad passed, no spoonful of sugar can rid me of the taste from consuming the bitterest of life’s pills. I didn’t think it were possible, but I miss Malcolm Strachan more now than after the Grim Reaper came calling that trinity of autumns ago.

The black cloaked one, scythe in hand and sympathy bereft, stinking out the hospice with it’s rancid agenda while my father laid moribund.

Of course, dealing with the death of a loved one is all part of life; without exception an episode which touches our existences at some juncture of the ageing process.

As it would be idiotic not to, I accept that inevitability. However, don’t tell me time’s a great healer and losing a much loved parent gets easier. As from a personal perspective that adage bears as much truth as Jean Valjean being prisoner 24601….. Actually, Valjean was 24601, strike the previous sentence.

Seriously, though, losing our family head in 2017 remains the single most stressful life event I’ve experienced, a fact I don’t envisage will ever pass regardless of months/years.

People, of course, may suggest that to acquire any element of closure for the loss of mon pater, my hopelessly fanciful and sensitive soul needs addressing. Observing my dwelling upon things I can’t change are the futile notions of a dreamer. A trait exposing myself to augmented levels of sorrow than those experienced by the more pragmatic minded.

Of course, I don’t think of my dad every minute of every day, my epiphanies of him generally a consequence of a trigger. A fleeting moment where, like after being punched in the stomach, I’m momentarily rendered breathless by the evoked recollection.

Incidentally, before my morose dialogue has you dashing for the Samaritans telephone number, this mournful mood isn’t my go to behavioural baseline. Ordinarily that emotional starting point manifests on a far more jocular level.

That trait allowing me to pen predominantly whimsical observations, rather than this mournful fare. That being said, I occasionally feel moved to write with darkness and melancholy; the motive that of testing my versatility as a blogger. Wanting to avoid producing work that’d lead to accusations of being a literary one trick pony.

As it stands, it’s raining in Sam’s heart but thankfully some of that despair is every so slightly tempered by comfort gained from believing her mum walks with her in spirit.

Incidentally, if you are with Sam, Angela, any chance that you can chip in with some of the chores….. After all, the dishwasher doesn’t empty itself!