I was eating a bacon sandwich on granary bread, wearing an ugly denim shirt and kneeling on my living room floor when I was told that my Dad was dead. It was 5 years ago but the memory of that moment is crystal clear. The band of grief constricting my chest until breathing became impossible, my Mum’s voice on the other end of the telephone sounding like it was reaching me through an ocean, the dizziness and paralysis; if I close my eyes I can be physically taken back there in an instant.
I miss him.
I miss him most when life is tough. I miss his solidity and assuredness, his experience and authority. I miss the way he managed to simultaneously love me unconditionally yet judge me dispassionately. I miss his pomposity and arrogance and I miss the way he was the first to denounce such traits in others.
My Dad is the reason I;
· Am comfortable expressing unpopular or unfashionable views
· Keep fit
· Love science and maths
· Maintain high standards of grammar (or try to)
· Ask if I’m not sure
· Don’t want to hear your problems unless you’re interested in finding a solution
· Seek solitude
The notion of an afterlife seems nonsensical to me, so I know I’ll never see him again, but that doesn’t stop me thinking about him and wanting to make him proud. I’m lucky to have ‘new Dad’ in my life and I’m sure Dad would love him too, but he’s an addition, not a substitute.
Dad, I love you. xxx