2007: The death of my dad and the year that changed everything forever

Last Friday it was the tenth time where I’ve ‘celebrated’ my birthday without my dad on this planet. Christmas will be our tenth Christmas without him here. In June ’17 it will be the 10th anniversary of his death.

2007 should have been a great year in my life. My hero won the Formula One World Championship for the first and currently only time. Instead I was grieving over the death of my father at the age of 15.

Even thinking about it now is strange. Thinking about what happened back then. It really was a living nightmare. Only now have I started to tackle the grief of it.

Everything was very normal until late 2005. My dad had an operation in October of that year just to survive. He was that ill already. An image I’ll never forget in my head is seeing him in the hospital bed with tears in his eyes when he saw my siblings and me for the first time after the operation.

Obviously then he had the chemotherapy treatment and all the check ups as cancer patients do. Unfortunately the cancer never went away and treatment was stopped before Christmas in 2006. At the time we had no idea it would be his last Christmas with us. He knew but kept it to himself.

Then as 2007 wore on the bowel cancer started to spread and he was getting sicker by the day. He was a strongly built man and to see the cancer completely overpowering him was and still is very difficult to accept. I have nightmares about it.

By the end he was thinner than a supermodel and couldn’t speak for the last few days of his life. He had to be put in a wheelchair to bring him to bed where he died three days later. As I’ve said before I massively regret not speaking to him before he died or spending time with him alone. Yes he couldn’t talk; but I can’t let the guilt go.

I know that many others don’t even get 15 years with both parents; but I can’t help how I feel. Ever since he died I’ve had awfully bad depression. It’s sucked the life out of me. Constantly tired and low on energy, hating myself and hurting so much over it. It was the big reason why I fell apart over the summer.

People constantly tell me to stop feeling guilty about it and you have only one life to live. While that’s absolutely correct, when you’ve beaten yourself up for over 9 years about it, it’s hard to do.

Some days I still expect him to be lying on his favourite couch and to be here with us. Life doesn’t work like that though. Christmas is a very lonely time without him and for me it’s about surviving the festive period.

I don’t go to the grave very often because the pain is unbelievable. Really unbelievable. I just fall to pieces. For sure part of me wonders if we all have multiple lives and he’s on this earth again somewhere. Crazy thought I know.

As a kid I would go check the cattle with him and go with him on the milk lorry with him and those are memories I’ll treasure forever.

I hope one day I can remember him without falling to pieces thinking about him. At the moment though it’s extremely difficult still; but hopefully more sessions with the psychiatrist and also the counsellor can help.

I wouldn’t wish this mental pain or severe depression on anybody. It’s horrendous. It’s ruining my life completely.

RIP Dad. I love you. 💗😘

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