Seven years since my days died

I have something from my husband to post but it needs editing so not yet.

It was my dad’s 7 year anniversary on Friday. We walked down the aisle to the song we played at his funeral.

He died in 2006 from alcoholic liver failure at the age of 47. I have numerous friends older than my dad at his death. I spent the day in bitter reminiscence at the disgusting way he and my family were treated as he was dying because he was an alcoholic. I have no experience but I’m willing to bet the families of cancer patients aren’t asked why they didn’t stop them and pushed roughly aside by staff and treated with the utmost disgust and disdain. Willing to bet their dying dads with heartbroken children weren’t treated as though their dying was their fault. My dad’s death was the most painful event of my life and they made it worse. My big sister Paula was there for most of it and she has far more tales to tell. I am bitter and I always will be. Even more embittered at “mental health activists” who rant against stigma yet treat people with addictions like scum unworthy of help. Attitudes like yours helped isolate my family and contributed to my dad’s death. Cheers. There is no hierarchy of suffering and help. If you want people with schizophrenia to be treated humanely and to have access to services, same should apply for addictions and personality disorders, considering how everything is linked. No exceptions. People who overdose can get new livers. My dad couldn’t (but George Best could) and endured being told that and knowing with certainty he would die.

Robert looked after me but have felt fragile all weekend. My dad’s anniversary is always a time for reflection. The past year has been so hard. I wish he had been here. I had a drink in his honour. Even more in his honour, I stopped at that one.

So that’s me, proper blog soon.

6 Responses

  1. My brother died aged 46, four years ago. He drank extremely heavily but I think his life was shorter even than it would have been because of a particular prescription drug he was on which reacts badly to alcohol and causes organ failure. But that still means it was an addiction to drink that caused him to die when he did.

    I loved him dearly. But the weird thing is I couldn’t tell you the anniversary of his death. I remember it was a sunny season. And I think it would have been May (because of some correspondence I saw a few months ago). It would be very easy for me to find out the date as not only is the death certificate in the house but I also have emails I could search for. But I think I prefer not to know so as not to think about it at any specific time of the year.

    Some people may think I am dreadfully unfeeling not to know the date. To have it etched deep in my brain tissue. But I never have been good with dates.

    I tend to think about him when a specific comedy show or film comes on that I know he would have enjoyed. I miss being able to talk about such things with him. Or maybe a song comes on and I imagine myself playing it to him on YouTube “when he visits”.

    I feel very privileged to have chosen the music for his funeral. We both loved much of the same music. So I was attuned to his tastes. And we would talk about morbid things, so funeral songs would come up now and again. So it wasn’t hard for me to choose the songs.

    “Your Daddy’s Car” by The Divine Comedy

    The “Can you see me sitting near you?” “No I can’t but I can hear you?” song taken from a Reeves & Mortimer episode.

    And “The Cracks Are Showing” by Vivian Stanshall.

    Actually, I guess the choice was the easier bit. I was very fragile myself at the time. But I got it together to get the songs prepared on one disc and taken to the crematorium a few days before the service. I did OK for my brother.

    • You really did, by the sounds of it. I’m sorry for your loss. xxx

      • Thank you, Seaneen. x I realised after I pressed “submit” last night that I had launched straight into my own story without paying reference to you and your father at all. That was wrong of me. But once I realised I thought “so what can I say in response?” And I couldn’t think of anything of value or consoling, really. Of course, sharing stories that are similar is a form of empathy in itself, or can inspire it. But I wish I could draw on what you’d written to write something that would help you.

  2. Ugh, it’s unacceptable how people are treated. I find a similar thing with having a personality disorder – not treated so badly as people with addictions, but there’s a lot of crossover. That people get (even more than with mental illness in general) into the attitude of telling us to snap out of it or expecting our loved ones to tell us to. Sorry for your loss.

  3. My dad was an alcoholic and was frequently abusive. He repeatedly beat or lost his temper with mom. He once told me that he did not care if I commit suicide as long as I did it properly and he didn’t have to pay the hospital bill in case I failed the attempt.

    It took me a very long time dealing with my own anger and depression. I came to know later that he was raised in a similarly abusive environment wherein his parents lavished all their attention on dad’s elder brother and treated dad as a servant or something like that.

    It seemed a very disgusting thing to do, but I forgave him internally in my own mind. I wish I could help him get into therapy so that everything becomes all right.

    Thanks a lot for reading. I am really sorry about what happened to your dad, I was once as clueless about why people alcohol addicts as the ones who ostracized your father. I hope I am a much better human being now.

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