For My Father (Who is no Longer With Us)

My dad died when I was twenty-five. Twenty-five is supposed to mean you’re an adult. Twenty-five is supposed to mean you have your own life and you don’t need your dad any more. Twenty-five is too soon.

We knew it was coming; he’d had cancer for a while, but nothing really prepares you.

I don’t usually write about it, I don’t talk about it much and I try hard not to think about it. It’s father’s day this weekend and usually they pass without event, but this year feels harder. This year marks the 5th year since we lost him. This year I get married. This year I’ve actually started to think about it.

This isn’t one of those open letters. The intended recipient would never see it; he wasn’t that proficient at the internet in life, I can’t see him stumbling upon my site in whatever comes next (maybe if I guest posted on a fishing website? I don’t know). So I thought I’d tell you about him. If you’d rather not read about a deceased man you don’t know then I understand. If you love misery porn however, read on.

He was one those ‘life and soul’ types. He had a lot of friends, he was involved in a lot of social activities. His funeral was packed, they had to open the upstairs to the room. People were crowded in, standing.

He was really great to be around. I used to keep nights free to watch TV with him when I was an age where I’d normally be going out with my friends. I very much miss those times.

We never really did much for Father’s Day, my dad didn’t want a fuss. I used to get him the same present every year, for some strange reason. The poor man spent about 16 years pretending to be both surprised and delighted by a parcel that contained socks, a comb and some chewing gum! I eventually realised he might prefer something different and was soon old enough to buy him wine. My dad liked wine. I sometimes drank some of his posh wine with him, and my mum told me he was a bad influence (they were together, she wasn’t being mean).

My dad kind of was a bad influence, but in the best possible way. I took him for a lot of appointments because I drove and my parents didn’t. In return he would take me on delicious eating excursions. We’d have breakfast at Asda, or secret milkshakes from the McDonald’s drive-thru. It was great and we were totally living our best lives.

I’m sad that when he left us I was still bad at life. I hate to know that he probably knew how much I was failing and worried about what I’d do after he was gone. What do you even do without your dad? Cry a lot and get really, really fat, it transpires. Eat your feelings. Transfer your pain.

I’m gutted he won’t be at my wedding. It’s not the ‘giving me away’ situation (that’s a little bit archaic anyway for my liking), but just the whole thing. He never met my fiancé (although I’m sure he’d have liked him). He never had chance to meet his grandson, who actually looks a bit like photos of him as child and shares some of his mannerisms. He won’t get to meet the future children I hope to have (yes children I would seriously get pregnant RIGHT NOW if it was in any way a convenient time).

It turns out that life is just very unfair (a lecturer actually warned us of this when I started uni. I already knew too well).

Make time to see your dad on Father’s day. I doubt it matters if you can’t afford to get him anything (although if you’re stuck for ideas, I hear dads love receiving socks, a comb and some chewing gum). Drink wine with him. Eat secret Asda breakfasts with him. Just appreciate the time you’ve got.

6 thoughts on “For My Father (Who is no Longer With Us)

  1. I could feel your pain just reading this. I am fortunate enough that my father is still alive, even if he has never really been a part of my life. He is still there. My husband, however, is not so lucky. His father passed away in June of 2013, when he was about 19 years old, and we had only been dating for a few months. His oldest sister was 23, the same age as me, and his two younger sisters were just 17 and 9. They were devastated. He had struggled with heart problems for years, and was going in for yet another open heart surgery, after suffering a heart attack. They all piled into the car to make the drive up to see him, but got the call that he has passed away on the table before they had even left the city. They never got to say goodbye.

    My husbands sisters were all very close with their father, and while all holidays are painful, Father’s Day is particularly painful for them, as he passed away right around this time. My husband was not very close with his father toward the end, and they were always butting heads. Things got bad. I later found out that he was holding all of his feelings inside about his father’s death, and felt like he was the cause of his father’s heart problems, because he thought he was such a difficult child. Hearing that destroyed me.

    I am so sorry for your loss. Stay strong. <3

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on this. It’s so sad that your husband thought this, it’s so important that he told you and you could reassure him that it couldn’t have been. It’s so hard losing a loved one at any time of the year but it’s definitely worse if it’s near a time to specifically celebrate that person.

      Thank you xx

    1. Thank you, I hope so too. I completely understand how Chris feels, I bet his dad would have loved you and adored his grandson xx

    1. Aww sorry! I actually felt quite crap before I wrote it, then a bit weepy as I was thinking about him while I wrote it then once it was out there I felt so much better. I think I should talk about it more. Thanks for taking the time to read about my dad 🙂 xxx

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