(This is the first time that I am publicly speaking about this situation)
My life changed at the age of 15 when I lost my Father in a horrible way. I got woken up at 2:30AM on the morning of 10th December 2007, by my Mother to tell me that he had passed away early hours in a morning back home in Madeira. Being told that he died after being drunk and not having enough energy, he collapsed on the gravel and hit his temple. However, people that went passed just thought he was drunk until an elderly woman approached him and saw that he was injured and called an ambulance. When he got to the Hospital, he was already ‘half dead’ according to the doctors and there was nothing that could be done to save him.
As you can imagine, I was 15 and I didn’t know what to do or what to think in this sort of situation and I didn’t know who to go to and talk because the only thing I wanted to do was sit alone and reminisce the good and the bad moments we shared as a Father and Son and also as a family.
A day or two after, my family got together and reminisced the times we had and laughed at the good and the bad memories also. We didn’t want to sit around and talk about his death, because we knew God was now looking after him, and them both are looking after me and my family.
Days later, my sister and her boyfriend at the time approached me and said “Would you like to attend the funeral” and obviously I responded with YES! Baring in mind that I left Madeira Island when I was 10 and never left England within those 5 years. This was so quick that I was leaving 2 days later on the 15th December to attend the funeral on the 17th.
This was even harder because it was the month of Christmas and it was family time, but Christmas from that year has never been the same and never felt the same. And being back home after 5 years and seeing the town I grew up was emotional. Not only because I hadn’t seen it for 5 years, but all the memories being spent there and all the friends that were made and now all drifted away.
The day of the funeral was something I never experienced before as I saw my dad in the coffin and knowing that was the last time I was going to see him killed me inside and luckily I had the support from all my brothers there and if wasn’t for them, I am not sure how if I would have coped. I knew that he was going to look after me from then onwards and I would do my best to make both my parents proud and I will always look into the future and be a great Father to my kids and also do the things with them that I wasn’t able to share with my Father.
My life has been a roller coaster, but I have realised that we shouldn’t always think of the negatives, but see the positives.
On 8th March 2012, I decided to get a tattoo of my Fathers name on my forearm so he is always with me wherever I go and whatever I do, he is there to share those moments with me.