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Blink and You Miss It

Sarah writes about how what it was like to lose her Dad


Written by Sarah Gill and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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Four years ago, on the 7th of August, my father passed away. I never allowed this to define me, I rarely spoke about it. You could say I distanced myself from it. But since I came to Galway and started living in the city we lost him in, the thoughts are harder to ignore.

I was fourteen at the time, in second year at school. I remember getting ready for a disco at my friend's house the night my dad went in for tests. My friend's mother told me not to worry and I remember thinking what a strange thing that was to say. I wasn't worried. At all. I was so sure that he would be okay.

A while later we found out he had cancer of the colon. We cried together but even then the worry didn't over come us. My father was the strongest person we knew so we were sure he would beat it. One day I came home from school not expecting for the slightest moment that my life would change forever. I went in the ambulance with my dad and the completely baffling part of all this is that he still managed to give me that reassuring glance that set my mind at peace.

We spent fourteen weeks in Galway, my sister and I stayed with our aunt. My mother slept on a mattress on the floor, never leaving his side for a second. I sat on a chair reading a book or maybe on my phone, I don't quite remember. Something shifted in the room, something in the air became significantly less. My father had taken his last breath, surrounded by my mother, my sister and I. It was just like that, here one minute and gone in the next. Blink and you miss it.

I believe the world stopped turning for a moment, everything felt so unimportant. So different. So incomplete. It's impossible to know what's out there; heaven, reincarnation, nothingness. But I am positive that my father is still out there, looking out for all of us and taking care of us. This kind of thought I revert back to when I can't sleep at night. When my mind is consumed with all the photographs he won't be in, all the memories we can't share with him and all the experiences he can't be there for. When I hear one of his favourite songs or wear one of his shirts I feel warm. But sometimes I don't and I ache, I long to be hugged and comforted but only his arms and words and scent and presence will do. Knowing that I can't have that feeling is what weighs me down.

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Published May 22nd, 2017
Tags grief mental health
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