MumsnetGuestPosts (MNHQ) Thu 16-Jun-16 16:15:57

Guest post: "This Father's Day, grief will remind our family of all we lost"

Alison Bloomer doesn't think she will ever come to terms with her father's sudden death 15 years ago, but she will keep trying to live her life to the full in his name (warning: upsetting content)

Alison Bloomer

Complicated Gorgeousness

Posted on: Thu 16-Jun-16 16:15:57


Lead photo

"Many people might think that 15 years is a lifetime but it isn’t really. We are still not ready."

The thing about grief is that just when you think you are over the worst of it, it rears its head in the most unexpected of places to remind you that you'll never quite be free.

This Father's Day, as families up and down the country dish out the funny cards and funky soap sets, grief will be a callous guest at our family table, reminding us once again of all we lost 15 years ago. The empty mantelpiece in my family home will be a reminder that it should all be so very different.

Life changed forever when my father, on his way home, told some teenagers off who were causing a bit of a disturbance. He was struck in the face and fell. The blow to his head from the fall was fatal. He was 59 years old.

I don't think I will ever come to terms with the sudden circumstances of his death, but I am very proud of the quiet dignity my family has shown since that awful night.

Parents alas are not immortal. We go through life with the vague notion that they will depart one day in old age, hopefully peacefully surrounded by family. You never in your worst nightmares expect them to die alone on the cold hard road a mere five minutes from their front door.

Despite the nature of my father’s death, the biggest repercussion has always been about the void for me. My dad was great. Not perfect, but great. We loved him because of and despite his flaws. There was no one I wanted to impress as much as I wanted to impress him.

I don't think I will ever come to terms with the sudden circumstances of his death, but I am very proud of the quiet dignity my family has shown since that awful night.

The gap he left behind was vast. The big days are bittersweet - like my wedding day, the birth of my children, Christmas mornings, birthdays, Father's Days. Yet, I am more vulnerable and feel the pain of loss more acutely when the void catches me unaware. Like when I watch a film I know he would have liked, or when Liverpool Football Club has a lucky win, or when I am walking alone and the sun dips behind a cloud and the sadness hits me anew for no apparent reason.

I don't like to think about how he died very often. I put it all in a box early on and placed it high up in my brain. I only let myself bring it back down every now and again to examine the contents. Maybe one day I will need to tip it all out and have a cathartic clear out. I should assimilate how it felt to receive the news and to visit the morgue and kiss a hard, cold face. I should acknowledge how hard it sometimes is to pass the spot where he died. And I should admit just how much I didn't want to climb into his place in bed beside my mum those first nights as she was too scared to sleep alone, but how I did it anyway.

Perhaps as a family we should rip back the 15-year-old plasters that cover the wounds that cannot fully dry and heal unless we let them have some sun. But not yet. Many people might think that 15 years is a lifetime, but it isn’t really. We are still not ready.

Maybe I should start by letting go of some of the 'ifs' and 'buts': how I wish that he wasn't alone, that he didn't go out that day; that he had got a taxi; that he'd fallen on his hip, not his head. How I wish that he was here now and that on Sunday I could skip across to him, hug him and tell him that I love him.

Instead, we’ll raise a toast to that wonderful man - one of my favourite people ever – and I'll tell him that I am still working hard to make him proud. I don't always get it right, but I will keep trying to be happy and at peace and to live my life to the full in his name. Because that is the only gift I have left to give him.

SAMM (Support after Murder and Manslaughter) is a registered charity offering support to those bereaved by the murder or manslaughter (homicide) of a family member or close friend.

By Alison Bloomer

Twitter: @complicatedgorg

KittyOShea Fri 17-Jun-16 14:45:11

Alison my sympathies. It is clear how much you loved your father. The suddenness of his death must have been a terrible shock flowers

This Father's Day will be the first for me without my beloved Dad after dying from cancer. He only had 8 weeks after diagnosis but at least we could spend that time with him. I just wish I had said and done more. I'm dreading it but know somehow I'll make it through and he will be in my thoughts and heart all day

MrsDeVere Fri 17-Jun-16 15:34:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpaceKablooie Fri 17-Jun-16 15:58:16

flowers for you, what a lovely post.

I lost my Dad several years ago. He certainly wasn't perfect, but he was interesting and interested in life. I wish I could phone him to tell him things that DS has said or done. He would have absolutely loved that.

Meluzyna Fri 17-Jun-16 16:46:49

"I am so sorry for your loss.
My father died 16 years ago ......., suddenly but not in violent circumstances."
mine too.... just before Father's Day - I'd bought his present - we were shopping for funeral clothes on the Saturday, surrounded by "Father's Day" promotions, it was horrendous.
So this time of year is always difficult for us, too. Although we try and make it special for our own children.
Group hug......


quirkychick Fri 17-Jun-16 16:57:57

flowers for you. You write very movingly of your father.

My friend's husband died suddenly over Christmas and her children will be facing their first Father's Day without him on Sunday. It will be a very difficult day for them too.

Trooperslane Fri 17-Jun-16 17:21:33

That's beautifully written.

I'll be desperately trying to focus on my DD and Dh on Sunday but my ddaddy will be on my mind all day.


FrancieC23 Fri 17-Jun-16 18:32:47

flowers Poignant piece - thanks for sharing it.
Second Father's Day without my lovely dad, still finding myself randomly welling up when things remind me of him.

FeralBeryl Fri 17-Jun-16 20:00:50

sad beautifully written.
I am so sorry for your loss, and every nice thing that happens since that reminds you of it.
This will be my 1st Fathers Day without mine and I'm dreading it. I hate myself for not just wanting to make it special for my husband when all I really want to do is hide and cry.
Then go onto social media and read all the posts about people's Dad's or worse still the ones slagging them off.

Love and strength to everyone this weekend. flowers

SlipperyJack Fri 17-Jun-16 22:03:18

My dad died 31 years ago when I was 10. My FIL, who I'd come to think of as a second dad, died 6 years ago.

It fucking sucks.

My best and warmest wishes to all those living without beloved fathers.

Rainshowers Fri 17-Jun-16 23:12:59

This is my first fathers dad without my dad. He died last summer, and without wanting to put myself, it wasn't natural causes. The last year has passed in a blur but I remember last Father's Day with a real fondness. I'm dreading this year, but trying to put a brave face on for my DH and DD. But I miss my dad so much and this has just highlighted our loss.

modzy78 Fri 17-Jun-16 23:52:58

My dad died 17 years ago, and Father's Day is still tricky. I kind of ignored it until I had a child. Now I try to focus on making my husband's day great, but it is still a bit hollow for me.

chipmonkey Sat 18-Jun-16 01:33:27

Lost my own Dad 14 years ago which made Father's Day hard for me but just lost my husband in April. It was hard on my little boys in school making Father's Day cards for his grave lthough the teachers handled it well .

nannybeach Sat 18-Jun-16 08:23:04

chipmonkey am so sorry to hear of your double loss, glad the teachers are helping you in this way. What a lot of terribly sad stories! I always felt it must be the worst thing if a loved one was taken by an act of violence. I lost my Mum nearly 30 years ago, 64 from cancer. It shouldnt have happened her GP did not do anything about her symptoms, unfortunately, I worked in the same Hospital as the man, and where my Mum was. Have just lost a very young colleague, with young children. Life is so cruel, I dont know who said "It is better to have loved and lost, than not loved at all" But, yes make Fathers Day a celebration of your Dads live if you loved them, however short they were. Mine died 10 years ago, but he was a difficult man to please, I was never good enough, a lot of it stemmed from the cruel way he was treated by HIS Father back in the 30s.

KindDogsTail Sat 18-Jun-16 11:22:23

I am very sorry for the loss of your wonderful father who was brave and willing to stand up to thugs. I know he will always be with you in spirit and that love has no end. flowers

IcyTeaAndScoopyScoopyDogDog Sat 18-Jun-16 11:58:54

So sorry for the loss of your father. My dear dad passed away this year in sudden circumstances. He was sick but it wasnt expected. I can toally understand the feeling of your air being taken out of your body when something reminds you of your dad. For me, I cant watch certain TV programmes.

My dad lived for his kids because his dad didnt live for his. He made sure we were loved and happy and I miss him so much.

Marmitelover55 Sat 18-Jun-16 15:47:56

I am also sorry for the loss of your father flowers. My dad died just over 7 weeks ago, followed 3 weeks ago by my mum. They were both elderly (87 and 90) and unwell, but I am missing them dreadfully. At least they weren't apart for long though. Hopefully tomorrow won't be too awful for any of us.

heyday Sat 18-Jun-16 16:42:23

I have no memories of a loving father, just a monster but fathers day makes me wish I had had a great dad. I work in a primary school and its a difficult time when we make fathers day cards. It's not only painful for the children whose fathers have died but also for the numerous children who no longer see their dad because of the divorce/separation of their parents and their raw, desperate pain at this loss.

compgorg Sat 18-Jun-16 19:27:36

Thank you for the lovely messages. I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow xxxx

dylsmimi Sat 18-Jun-16 19:32:29

flowers and so sorry for all the losses on this thread. So beautifully written. I hope everyone can face tomorrow with peace and good memories where they can.
We lost my fil 6 months ago and I am trying to support dh through tomorrow but our dc are excited to be celebrating with dh which will also be very bittersweet

buckleberrybinn Sat 18-Jun-16 23:24:36

Tomorrow too will be our first painful father's day missing my children's wonderful loving father who passed away so shockingly suddenly only four weeks ago. My own lovely father passed away far too early as well although he had been ill. But it is so much harder to see your own children have it forced on them too. But my husband and my father were well loved and give us strength every day. Wishing peace to all of you missing your special dads.flowersflowers

saraholdtimernewname Sun 19-Jun-16 10:27:15

Sorry for your loss Alison and everyone else who has posted, thank you for sharing your stories.

A friend just shared this moving video about Father's Day on Facebook and I thought it was really relevant to the feelings people are talking about here

It was posted by a bereavement charity called The Loss Foundation and they help people whose loved ones have died of cancer in case anyone needs a little support.

(I'm a old timer on a new account as lost my details, pom bears etc...)

hamsternumber1 Sun 19-Jun-16 12:23:47

My Dad died 20 years ago. I still find Father's Day very hard.

This post is lovely - thank you.

paranoidmother Sun 19-Jun-16 21:54:36

I am sorry for your loss. My darling father took his own life 13 years ago with no warning, I found him and I still have bad days. Today I help my DC celebrate their father but I'll cry tonight at him not being here.

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