It’s been nearly two years since my dad passed away suddenly. A life time of drinking and smoking god knows how many a day just caught up with him mixed with the medication he took for his mental health. I have handled it, in my own opinion at the somber age of 20 (now 22) pretty well. I was the first in the family to go back to work, the first to make jokes and try and keep living.
But just like the elephant in the room it has to be addressed. At first it came as strangers in the street who would look like him, I’d look twice and try and catch a proper look and be left with a harsh reality.
Then came the highlights. Things in my life I wanted to desperately tell him, I got a new job and then a promotion and then I moved to the city. Things I wouldn’t have probably done had he been around because I didn’t want to distance myself from him. He was never very well after he left the army, I dont think I was ever fully in on the details but I know he came back differently but to me it was all almost normal. I look back and remember him sitting for hours in the kitchen at the dining table sipping a two teaspoon instant coffee chain smoking in silence. I wish I could have helped then. Anyways I’m side tracked… These are things I would have loved to tell him because I desperately wanted to make him proud.
And then it’s meeting new people. Eventually they ask about the family. And i have to tell them my dad passed, the same reaction, the same awkward silences. The polite “It’s okay, don’t worry about it” when people apologize for asking how it happened.
And tonight, two years later. I was laying in bed and having an argument with my boyfriend via text and I just thought, fuck I wish my dad was here to talk about this. The urge to call his home number, to email him. And the breath taking blow that it’ll cause me more hurt than good. That’s someone elses number, I have his email passwords and I havent looked at them since his funeral.
Hearing people talk about their family hurts. Hearing people say “goodbye dad” into the phone and having to saunter away. Fathers Day is a dread. Seeing men his age drinking alone in pubs wishing someone would sit with them.
I just miss him so much. It’s not fair. Appreciate your loved ones.
The last time I saw my Dad I was working a shitty job as a waitress, in his flat asking if he’d be willing to pay for my passport so I could save to travel. I walked to his gate and waved. I’m so glad I waved.
I miss you, Dad. I know a lot of people do. I think about you all the time and I’m trying really hard to keep it together.