Reader’s Confession: The Death Of My Dad
“LAST year l buried my dad. He’s actually my mother’s cousin who took me in when no one wanted the burden of an extra mouth. See, growing up, no one wanted me.
l was moved from one family to the next and my dad, or ‘Daddy’ as he was affectionately known, took me in. For a while his wife and sons didn’t want me but he was adamant on giving me a home, on showing me love and being a parent to me, and l remember his wife would fight with him over my stay at their house; still, he stayed committed to giving me the stability l so yearned.
I will admit, I wasn’t an easy child to live with. I went to a Catholic school and they were very strict and l was always in trouble with the principal, but Daddy was committed to loving me. Never once did he wash his hands off me like all the others had.
When I went to varsity l would cry myself to sleep asking the Lord to keep Daddy safe for me; He did. I completed my BA, but fell pregnant and came back home to have my son. Daddy was disappointed, but he quickly put aside his initial feelings. He would drive me to my doctor’s appointments and bought the necessities a newborn would need, since my baby daddy and I were both unemployed at the time.
Eventually I fell pregnant again, but a few months ago l lost the baby, and moved out of the flat l was sharing with my live-in boyfriend, subsequently breaking it off with him. I moved back home to my dad’s house. But four weeks later he started getting sick and was admitted to Johannesburg General, where he died shortly afterward.
Yes, he was old – 80 to be exact – and he was very sick at that, and l saw how he suffered; still, it’s difficult to accept that my constant support is no more; that l now have no one to call upon, my hero. I’m torn, I’m hurt, and I not only have suicidal thoughts but also of harming my son, because even if he’s the one keeping me sane, l would never take my life and leave him alone.
Before the death of my dad l was consumed with self-pity. I was hurt over the child l lost at four months pregnant. My son was hurting over the end of my relationship as he had been very close with my ex. Then my dad passed on, and it was like all of that other pain didn’t exist; the hurt cut too deep.
My world crumbled and reality set in the minute his coffin was lowered into the ground. All l feel over the past hurt is numbness; all l think of is his coffin, the finality of it all as we left the graveyard leaving him behind. No one can ever understand what I’m feeling. It’s said a death of a loved one brings a guardian angel. l wish those were comforting words, but they aren’t. l need my daddy. l want my dad.”