My dad died when I was 7. He had a heart attack one Monday morning while I was upstairs getting ready for school.
And I feel like I need to preface this next statement with me saying that of course I wish my dad was still alive. I often find myself thinking about how things in my life would have turned out differently if he’d never died, how I would have turned out differently, or what would happen if one day there was a knock on the door and it was him and there’d all been some impossible mix up. But, I have grown to live without him. I was only 7. That’s very young, and sadly I don’t have too many memories of him. I never went without, and my mother stepped up to being both parental figures in a way I don’t think I ever could. His death doesn’t affect my everyday life anymore. I don’t know any different at this point.
But, if we go back a few years, to when I was still in primary school, in the first few years after he died, I was obviously still very upset and affected by it.
And it’s that that I want to talk about today. The school tradition of making cards and gifts for your parents for Mother’s or Father’s Day.
I don’t remember my time in primary school all too well, not when it comes to matters like these. I remember the odd gift I’ve made for my mam, but I don’t remember if things changed after my dad died. The whole class knew of course, but I think I was the first child in that class to lose a parent, especially to have one die, rather than walk out or divorce.
And I honestly can’t remember if they rejigged the whole routine of making gifts for dads, or if they just gave me something else to do that day? Did they still do mother’s day things, but not father’s day? How do schools deal with this? How do families in general deal with these occasions, to behave around fatherless kids on fathers day?
I don’t have any answers, I don’t have any real direction in which to take these musings, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately, and I wanted to get down. If any of you have thoughts on this, or experiences relating to this, I would love to hear from you.
On a final note, happy fathers day to all the good dads out there, to all the mums who have had to step up as dad, and to everyone who doesn’t have either. You’re all loved.