The Diary of Losing Dad

By Emily Bevan

A bittersweet journey through grief – pieced together with diary entries and poems

Poetry | Wellbeing
71% funded
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An A2 screen print of Emily's poem, ‘Love’. Plus, a first edition hardback, the eBook and your name in the back of the book.
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Personalised comic poem

Give Emily some details about your friend, lover, family member and she’ll write you a poem for them. Plus a signed first edition hardback, the eBook and your name in the back of the book. (you will be contacted after funding of this project is complete).
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Tea with 'Amy' and 'Kieran' from In the Flesh

Tea with Luke and Emily (tickets x2) at a London location. Plus a first edition hardback, eBook and your name in the back of the book.[Travel not included; date and location TBC].
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School Talk

Emily will visit your school to do a talk on grief, writing as therapy, poetry and acting (and more) PLUS

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Corporate Patron

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The months leading up to my Dad’s untimely death were, looking back on it, fairly surreal. When I wasn’t visiting Dad in hospital, I was playing a dying zombie in BBC series In The Flesh and patching up a wounded heart (that I’d thrown at someone’s feet) the day my Dad had a stroke. I went from feeling tremendously heavy, to totally normal, to just plain knackered. (I often wondered if I was going a little mad.)

Throughout this time, my lifeline was a salmon pink A4 journal; where I poured out my heart with the dedication and gusto of a lost teenager. This painful time was hugely fertile, creatively - and words literally spilled out onto the page - sometimes in the form of a diary entry or anecdote, sometimes in the form of poetry, through which I have always found it helpful to express and organise difficult thoughts. 

There are a number of heart-wrenching and life affirming accounts of hospital life from the perspective of the patient or the medical professionals caring for them. But The Diary of Losing Dad is told from the inside of the magnolia waiting room, from a family who are stress-eating Percy Pigs, scrabbling around for change for the parking machine, and breaking down in the chemist because the pharmacist hasn’t got the right cream.

As an actor, I like to find narrative and meaning - and I also like to know which role I’m playing. During the time my father was dying, I found myself playing the role of the sensitive, emotional daughter, who tries to do the right thing but can often get it wrong, and who is a master at putting on a brave face and concealing her inner pain. My dad plays the heroic, funny and incredibly brave patient, who was inspiring until the end.

This all sounds incredibly heavy doesn’t it?

But I think that in jumping between different modes of expression, tones and moods - the narrative stays buoyant and varied. The poetic element too - allows the reader to dip deeper, going somewhere a little more surreal or instinctive perhaps, opening up a more truthful and visceral insight into the experience.

We all have our own unique responses to human tragedy. We’re all going to have to face death. And yet we are so ill-equipped. This book is an intimate insight into what it is like to slowly, painfully lose someone you love.

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  • Emily Bevan avatar

    Emily Bevan

    Emily Bevan is an actress and writer living in East London.

    She is perhaps best known for her role as spirited zombie Amy Dyer in BBC 3's BAFTA winning series In The Flesh. Other lead TV roles include Grantchester, Doc Martin, The Casual Vacancy and The Ark. Emily has also appeared in a range of comedies including: Uncle, I Live With Models, Cumbo, The Thick of It and Phoneshop. Film credits include Breathe, Williams, The Carer, Crow, The Last Sparks of Sundown and St Trinians. Recent short films include Rob Savage’s Dawn of the Death and Will Garthwaites’ The Short of it.

  • First Sight.
    I walk through the vast concrete maze of wings and signs, eventually making it into a lift.
    It pings. Everything is in slow motion. I glide through each door (the valium is kicking in.)
    Time, seconds lengthen. Stretch. Drawn out by anticipation that is both urgent to see him
    and fearful of what or who I will find. I am completely lost. A kind man steers me to the
    right place. I sterilise my hands and pass a sea of curious eyes. And then at the end of the
    ward…

    Read more...
  • Emily Bevan has written 1 private update. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    12th November 2019 Yolk Magazine Interview

    Dear 'Diary of Losing Dad' supporters. 

    I hope this finds you all well. 

    I couple of little updates! I was recently approached by a lovely magazine called 'Yolk' and asked to contribute to a feature they were running called 'Good Grief'.  I have attached the interview below (plus a poem that they printed), just in case anyone would be interested to read. We talk about my motivation for writing…

    19th September 2019 57% & a new excerpt.

    To my first 200 supporters! 

    Thank you all so much for your generosity. With your backing I have now reached 57%!  Apparently no Unbound campaign has made it to 50% without going on to get published, so this gives me great hope. 

    I really am touched by the love and support I have received thus far. As I go after this final 43%, it goes without saying that anything that you can do to help…

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