Monday, April 8th 1991. The day that changed my life and made me into the person that I am today. A day that my childhood changed forever. A day that I wish never happened.
I can vividly remember that in the evening of the 8th, the front door opened and I was told that my father had died. The rest of that night was a blur and I cannot even remember what happened for the rest of it.
I had not seen my dad for several weeks so never got to say goodbye to him face to face. I was a 14 year old boy who had, for the last 4 months or so, known that this moment was coming. I didn’t see him after he died. The next time I saw him was when his coffin was carried down the aisle of the church in the town I lived.
My father had been ill for several years, however what I had not known until relatively soon to his death, was that he was terminally ill with penile cancer. He was someone who was liked by everyone that met him. He was the manager of the boys football team that I played for (and was a sub every week without fail) and was my dad. I cannot even remember what his voice sounds like, I have few actual memories and now being pre Facebook and internet/smartphone days, no videos of him.
The week after he died, I was at a local football match chatting to someone and a man came up to me and said he was sorry to hear about my dad. The person I was chatting to asked me what that was about (after the man went). I said I had no idea.
I had actually flicked a switch and just got on with things. I look back and feel bad about it now but at the time, it was the only way I could cope with it all. I went to group counselling session at school for other kids who had lost parents. It didn’t help and I only went once.
On the 8th April I will have 794 days until I am the same age as he was when he died. Why do I have the countdown? I don’t know. I have it in an app on my phone. No one else knows this apart from me. I am scared of not getting past that moment in time. Of leaving my children without a dad and my wife without a husband.
I check myself daily to make sure that nothing seems out of place or different.
It has taken me 27 years to write this although I have been thinking about doing it for at least 10. I don’t even know what writing this all means but I needed too do it.
It robbed me of my dad. I hate cancer. I cannot imagine not being in my children’s lives and seeing them grow up. I know my dad is watching from in the clouds. Which is ironic as I don’t believe in heaven. I go on paranormal investigations with the faint hope that I will get some kind of interaction from him. To date, nothing. Here’s hoping.
Greg, aged 41.