Writer's Blog

Letter to my late father

Dear Dad

Well, suffice to say, we all miss you more than we ever thought possible. It’s strange how much of a void is left when a loved one dies.

When you were alive, Mum used to joke that she hoped you died first because you wouldn’t cope without her. In hindsight, that’s further from the truth than we could ever have imagined. You would probably have plodded along and hung in there, whereas Mum simply lost the will to live after she lost you.

When I say ‘she’ lost you, I realise we all lost you but the gaping void in mum’s world was painfully obvious. Coupled with the rapid deterioration of her own health, mum has been less than a shadow of her former self over the past nine years. In spirit, she died the day you did. In body, she exists, barely coping with a debilitating lung condition, a combination of two or more diseases leaving her unable (unwilling) to leave her home for fear of bleeding to death.

Mum insists on staying in the home you two shared for over forty years, finding excuse after excuse not to leave, most of them monetary and completely unfounded. I think, secretly she feels your presence around her but is loathe to admit to anything spiritual. She has her little Poodle for some semblance of company and my brother is just around the corner, should there be an emergency.

We have arranged an emergency button which she wears around her neck at all times while she is at home. She has a stairlift installed meaning she is able to reach the first floor of her house.

Mum goes nowhere and wishes to go nowhere without you by her side. Oh, you spoiled mum rotten in your day. If a job needed doing around the house or garden, you picked it up and it would be complete within hours or days. Nowadays, if a little job catches mum’s eye, mostly non-emergency we are talking of here, mum tells us but she expects it done dad-style, ie immediately. She fails to realise we all have jobs, homes, family and gardens to sort, too, and sometimes non-emergency jobs have to wait a short while. I know my sister in law gets the brunt of the nastiness, and yes mum can turn very spiteful when she doesn’t get what she wants and when she wants it.

Don’t get me wrong, we all understand how difficult life is for mum without you, but its all about give and take.

Many times, something has happened within the family and I have headed to the phone, dying to share it with you, immediately realising it is no longer possible to share.

You left a gaping hole, dad. One which we can never begin to fill. You reigned over the family as ‘head of house’, silently commanding peace and control. You have no idea how high you were held in the esteem of us all.

Miss you so much.

Xxx

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