20.10.1981

Today, grief washes over me like a vicious ocean.

I have been running from this sadness for so long now and have felt too paralysed to work on my writing this past week. Some days I just wander in my mind looking for a safe place to rest but seemingly, it’s proving more difficult

I have to keep writing through it.

On the anniversary of my fathers passing I desperately want to acknowledge him and give meaning to his life as no other person ever does.

Nobody… and I feel very sad about that.

Was he that insignificant? Did he really matter to anyone? Was his life that unimportant?

If you were to ask my brothers to tell you the date of their father’s death, they wouldn’t have a clue and my Mother always needs reminding.

The date goes unnoticed.

Most years I remember him in silence but this year I wrote a Facebook status which came completely out of the blue.

If there was a direct telephone line that could reach him now, I would choose to hear him speaking softly to me and listen carefully to the sound of his voice, savouring every moment. I would ask him how his day has been and tell him about mine. I would spend the time laughing with him and sharing the simple things I know he’d love to hear… and I’d love him just that little bit more.

We must never underestimate the power of un-resolved grief. Its a burden to carry for sure and one that is so heavy for me to this very day.

Even though I was very afraid of my father, my love for him is evident.

Our healing is unfolding

©All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019

Keep living until you are alive

The force that stormed through the door was untamed.

He was a mad man.

The man I loved unconditionally and yet feared unlike any other human being alive, arrived with the big black case in hand.

Remember the case?

I froze – engulfed in terror, my mother a couple of feet behind me and to be specific, she stood in the right hand corner at the back of the front room.

I was her shield.

Like it was okay?

The dog was going crazy, barking in a frenzy of confusion running in all directions. He was my father’s dog and very much loved.

The mad man – hair messed, face contorted, eyes wide with RAGE started bellowing at my mother and the only thing I remember is;

“I’m going to kill you.”

and he hurled the big black hard sided case with such force, across the room at Her and as she threw herself out of the way, her screams of begging and pleading went un-noticed by any person outside.

It was a near miss.

Smashing against the wall.

The dreadful volume of noise – shouting – screaming – crying – barking – it was utter chaos.

I can still hear the hysterical cries from her and the fury filled shouting from him – I began pleading with him, begging him to stop, telling him I was scared, using his love for me to try and persuade him to calm down;

“If you love me Dad then please, please stop!”

I was in my very own nightmare and needed help. I couldn’t get him to stop and physically I didn’t have the strength to hold on for much longer. The situation escalated as he kicked the dog out the way and started to push me back and walk in her direction so I threw my arms around him, hugging him, telling him I loved him, sobbing; my feet slipping on the carpet as I pushed back as much as I could.

I tried I really tried hard; I pushed back

and prayed frantically, with speed, in my head to a God that I believed was there.

He was there, wasn’t he?

Then something changed – slowly, he began to calm down and as I held on to him for dear life, he demanded to know where his drugs were. My mother told him as he prized my arms from around him and walked out of the room.

I prayed every day as a child.

For my father –

What is this love
this powerful force
This energy of love
Can strip the volatile naked
to reveal a truth
not often seen
Rage can hide behind love
and fear behind the rage
Fear is the truth
that rage will not speak
Love is the gentle dance
to heal a broken heart

©All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019