A young widowed father opening up about living with loss
It’s Father’s Day in the UK today. For those of us who are lucky enough to actually have a father, it’s probably a time to send a card, pick up the phone or make a visit to show we care. For those who haven’t it might either be a time for reflection or a time to avoid the TV, restaurants, pubs, card shops or any other outlets that inadvertently make us feel worse than we already do by treating us all as if we’re the same.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a father and a father-in-law and I am a father too, so I’m hoping today will be a happy and grateful day for me.
However positive I try to be, though, it’s been hard not think about how strange it will be to receive neither a card containing handwriting that looks suspiciously more like my wife’s than my son’s. Nor a gift that I know he can’t yet afford because he has no access to any savings until he’s 18. So I thought, ‘Sod it! I’ll buy myself something from his account.’ Thanks for my new chair, Jackson! Your taste is impeccable.
Seriously though, today is not about material things for me. It’s not about him behaving any more lovingly towards me than he already does. It’s not about cards, gifts, grand gestures or breakfast in bed. For me it’s about being the one who’s lucky enough to be able to spend another day with my son. For me today’s a day when I will thank my lucky stars that my beautiful wife made me a dad to such a wonderful child.
And it’s for that wonderful child’s future that a friend and I wrote a song as a way of capturing memories of days gone by. We wanted to create something that would one day help him to understand the immediate impact of his mum’s death and what it was like coming to terms with her loss as a father and as a man. I thought I’d share that song today for all the other dads out their who are raising children without their wives or partners by their sides.
Dry Eyes is performed by my good pal Paul Hand. Just click on the ‘play’ icon below to take a listen. You can also read a Father’s Day feature that I wrote in today’s issue of the Sunday People and online here