I consider myself lucky to have experienced a great childhood with parents that strived to make it that way. Extremely grateful for everything they did for me and the big life lessons I gained from them.
However around the age of 14 like so many of us that natural slow progression of not wanting to be around Mum and Dad started. Not because I didn’t like them or there were any issues in fact far from it, I simply was trying to find my own way and grow as an individual. We still had a good relationship I just preferred to be out with friends having a good time.
My Father was a hard man with many old school ways, strict but fair with no doubts of right from wrong. This often landed me in a bit of trouble earning severe punishments, but hey that helped shape me into the person I am today. Far from traumatised as a result but actually grateful from some tough lessons.
All my life he was a picture of Health and Well-being, his passion was fitness which he lived on a daily basis. Through his fitness/health business he helped scores of people achieve great personal results and became well known and highly regarded by all that knew him. In 22 years of my life there was only ever one day I saw him ill, he spent it laying on the Lounge floor only to spring back to normal next day.
At 21, I returned from a 2 month Honeymoon to find Dad had started to experience depression. This was extremely difficult to comprehend and of course in the mid 80’s acceptance and treatments were vastly naive and primitive to what is available today. As a family we spent many many hours trying to support and assist getting him through this difficult time. Unfortunately he slipped deeper and deeper into depression believing that if he took his own life it would be better for us (our family) to move on.
The talk of suicide became very serious and most disturbing especially since we could not get him to seek professional help.
6 months later, Dad slipped into a very dark place and took his own life.
As for anyone faced with a loved one that has made this decision, this was an extremely hard emotional, phycological challenging time moving forward. I learnt to put aside those thoughts like – why, how could you, this is stupid. Instead trying to understand this tragic event from his side and the frame of mind he was in. Dad’s love for his family was so strong that he truly believed the best thing for us (his family) was for him to end his life so we could all move on.
In the years to follow and the events that happened in my life I realised more and more what my Father had taught me and how much I missed and needed him.
I now have a son of 25 years of age, our relationship is something I am so proud and happy of and consider myself to be extremely lucky. But at the same time I continually experience a cross between deep sadness and anger that I never got the chance to form a similar relationship with my Father. That chance to show my appreciation, love and respect that I have for him, how he shaped me and the massive influence he continues to have in my life.