6 years, 10 months and 10 days on.

I lost my father young. I was not yet 14, and it wasn’t something I knew how to deal with, I still don’t think i know how to deal with it. 

He was killed. A fatal accident involving a train, while he was at work. At 5.48am. On a Monday. My first day of my third term of my second year at high school. Safe to say I didn’t go to school that day. I didn’t go for a while, but i have no idea how long it was. I just remember being dreamy, not ready to go back, writing ‘Dad I Miss you’ on every piece of writing equipment and every book I had. I think it was a Friday. Or maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. 

Sometimes it feels like time has moved on so much that its easy to pretend it didn’t happen, easy to pretend I don’t have this pain, memories of my mother screaming and crumbling to the floor or of my grandpa squeezing me on the shoulder telling me what a great bloke my Dad was. I knew it of course, but until then it hadn’t hit me. Not until he said those words, about 6 hours after the incident. Still, I was in denial for a long time. A year, at least, probably longer. There are some nights I can almost smell him, if i think hard enough about his voice, his moves, the way I felt wrapped up in his massive bear hugs or how he would sit on the edge of my bed before i fell asleep, rubbing my back if i couldn’t sleep or chatting aimlessly about all the things I was going to do with my life; how I would travel, what I would see and what I would do while I was where I wanted to go. I am glad the last words we spoke were ‘I Love You, see you soon.’ I will see you soon, and whenever I close my eyes I can see you too, Dad. 

I am a strong believer of you will never know, how someone feels until you have been through a similar experience. Especially with grief. It somehow manages to encompass you, grief will control your feelings, your thoughts, your attitudes, your friendships. Losses also come with side effects: anxiety, depression, bulimia, insomnia; unfortunately there’s nothing on that list I haven’t had. 

So, briefly, 6 years, 10 months, and 10 days on from the death of my father I am far from healed. I am on my way. I have accepted, said my last goodbyes and began to live a normal life without him. Our family is starting to re-build. I am slowly starting to re-build. On a night that I am riddled with the insomnia and anxiety side effects of my life-changing loss I remember. I remember the love of my father, how he would do anything he could for my mother, brother and myself, after all: he lost his life doing his duty to the family, and I will love him forever for that; and spend my life in pursuit of proving it was worth it, for everything I have now. 


2 thoughts on “6 years, 10 months and 10 days on.”

  1. I can’t believe I’m the first to ‘like’ this, but then as you say – unless someone has a similar experience then they won’t be able to understand really.

    My dad died of a heart attack when I was thirteen and, though my list differs from yours (Bipolar II, Nihilism and Alcoholism) – the net result seems to be similar.

    I remember my dad’s stubble scraping the top of my head, because he’d walk up behind me when I was sat at the computer and put his chin over the top of my head and I remember his smells too, sometimes.

    We’ve not met, but it wouldn’t be entirely true for me to say I don’t know you. You’re me while ever we’re both thinking about our dads. Sudden bereavement is a cunt of a thing and I’m glad to hear you’re working with what you have instead of wrestling against it.

    I run a support group using Skype. If you feel like it – get my address from there and I’ll be the listener you don’t have to worry about upsetting when the shadow of that grief chills the air.

    All the best,

  2. Thankyou for this comment. For lightening me on one of my darkest days. I find writing therapeutic, and everything you have said rings incredibly true. Losing a parent, especially so young, is something you can never get over. I am glad that we have connected, and if you ever need some support, you know where to find me.


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