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.