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» Dad stories

Not happy, sadly
My dad killed himself on April 9th 2008.

Growing up he was the best dad he could be to me. He hadn't had the best start in life himself, but he met my mum aged 29 and I was born when he was 31, and he adored us both. I'm an only child and money was tight when I was younger - my dad was self-employed and trade wasn't always great - but when he did make money he saved and saved and saved. He ended up paying for my entire university costs, including paying my loan back, and was as proud as anything when I graduated. He worked hard to pay off the mortgage on my parents' house, and he was careful with pensions and investments and so on. The abject poverty of his youth had left a deep scar on him and he was determined that neither me nor my mother should ever have to live like that.

Don't get me wrong, he wasn't perfect but he was mine, and even though we didn't always get on I miss him every single day.

He got ill after his business partner's wife was ill, in the summer of 2007. The stress got to him and he began getting paranoid that the police were after him. Psychosis is a scary, terrible, horrible, irrational thing, that takes someone's mind and grows like a cancer inside it. What is horrible about mental illness is that people are quick to dismiss it, it's almost like that because they can't see it it's not real.

It is very, very real when it drives a man to jump off a bridge, you know? We'll never know why he chose that day, whether someone spoke to him or whether a police car was behind him or something silly, but he was on his way to an appointment and never made it. He was "missing" for 24 hours, which is the most horrendous thing ever. The police divers recovered his body and the police, actually, were brilliant, lovely to me, my mum and my husband, and as kind as they possibly could be.

I am determined to be outspoken about suicide because it is so misunderstood. My dad wasn't a coward, he wasn't running away from his problems, he was simply very, very ill and took a tragic way out of it. My mum is happily remarried now, and we're all getting used to being a blended family. She lives mortgage-free and my dad left a tidy sum of money meaning that she is set up to live a comfortable life - but she is careful too and has reinvested most of it so that it eventually will come to me (and at the moment she is paying for an OU course for me out of it - thanks dad, I hope you can see how well I'm doing!)

All the money in the world can't replace my dad, and I would give it all away if it meant I could have him back, and honestly one of the saddest things about the entire thing is that he never got to spend all that carefully saved money in his retirement. I would have loved for my parents to take off around the world when they both retired, and I wish the silly bugger had lived long enough to do that.

If you have a good dad and he's still around for you - go give him a hug from me, okay?
(Sun 28th Nov 2010, 22:47, More)

» Unusual talents

I can hum with my tongue and bend my thumbs in a really horrible way, and I'm a bit ginger, so my special talent is being really like but not actually being The Ginger Fuhrer.
(Mon 22nd Nov 2010, 20:22, More)