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. 

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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,
    H&J

  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.

    Becca.

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