13 years later…

August is always a stinker of a month for me, it holds not only my dads birthday but also the anniversary of his death. I’ve not dedicated an entire post to him because I just take it as it comes and as you are about to find out, it has been a while since he passed. So why this year? Well I was 13 when it all happened and this year it has been 13 years since he died, so it’s kind of a big one for me.

A little bit of background…

I’m not going to go into this that much but basically thanks to an operation he became very sick. Things were not helped at all by a deadbeat doctor who kept saying he was “fine” even though he was drastically losing weight and the length he could walk was also reducing (side note, it got that bad he ended up in a wheelchair). However, thanks to him and my mam pushing for another doctors opinion, we soon had oxygen in the house and portable canisters for going shopping. He was also bumped up to the top of the transplant list.

He was admitted into hospital about a week before his birthday and spent a while on ICU, then transferred to a ward and finally a side room on the ward. We celebrated his 54th birthday in the side room on the 24th August and I know it was probably because of my age but I genuinely thought he would be coming home but 2 days later, just before 9pm on the 26th August he passed away. In the space of 10 minutes all of our lives changed. These couple of days will forever replay in my head when my depression is playing up whether is is little scenes that I’ve not mentioned, the sinking feeling when we could see his pulse slowing, the number of tiles on the ceiling in the side ward to my brother making it back just in time to dive on the bed to say goodbye.

What has he missed?

Where to begin with this, as you can imagine there have been so many events that he has missed….

2 months after he passed one one of my brothers had to go through the horrible event of his partner giving birth to a stillborn. 2 years after that my youngest nephew was born.

I had my prom, went to college and was the first person in my family to go to university!

As a chubby kid who was late on discovering make-up and to enjoying exercise which contributed to me not getting my first official boyfriend until I was 19. So he never got to see that relationship. Probably a good thing the way it ended to be fair, but in the beginning it was good.

However, because of the way the first doctor was towards my dad, we ended up putting a complaint in about the doctor. This whole process helped me decide that I wanted a career in law hence the law degree and actually ending up working in a solicitors, granted I’m a secretary but you never know, one day I might have to balls and confidence to see if I can be trained up.

His first grandchild turned 18 on the 16th August and he has just got his A-level results and will be flying the nest to go to Leeds University in September!

Last year, a couple of days after having our anniversary get together to remember dad I ended up in hospital with an appendix on the verge of bursting. This was my first stay in hospital never mind it requiring an operation!

There are so many other events, family members dying, family pets dying, the changing of relationships, birthdays, anniversaries, passing driving tests, tattoos….

The list is endless.

How life has changed…

Well apart from the obvious change of adjusting to life with one parent, which was hard but my mam has done an amazing job. You have to get used to people avoiding speaking about their father just in case it upsets you which to be honest is more annoying and awkward than what it would be if they just spoke about it. I get why this happens, people are just being nice but in all honesty I prefer talking about him rather than not.

A big change for me was the career path I pursued. In school I thought I wanted to do something with Art but after the process mentioned above about making the complaint about that s**t doctor, I decided that helping others out who were in a similar situation was more important. A career in Law was now the aim. Fast-forward 13 years and I now work as a secretary for a solicitors…. A defence solicitors but a solicitors no-the-less. And yes it is as a secretary but realistically looking at things a job as a solicitor is not for me, I enjoy being secretary.

The night my dad died my brain misinterpreted something that was said to me, which was meant as a compliment, but I took it as a negative which according to a counsellor triggered my depression. I managed to deny that I was suffering with this mental illness until my long tern relationship broke down a whole 10 years later (I kind of discussed it in this post). Like all mental illnesses it is a challenging and some days are a lot worse than others (especially since lock down hit) but thanks to my amazing friends, family and this blog I manage to cope with it. I am actually proud to say that it has not beaten me, even though it almost did at one point, and lets face it, with such a massive thing happening to someone this young I could have went down a completely different path.

On thing big thing that I am thankful happened is that my family have become even closer. We talk most of the time and we make sure to get together around this time every single year to remember my dad.

Despite what people say, the pain never actually gets easier. It sounds bad but it ends up becoming ‘normal’. But here is to my dad, my family and the memories that get shared each and every year. No going to lie my memories now are based on the stories that are shared, I don’t actually remember that much of him myself.


Kathleen xox

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