I’m going a little off topic here. I usually write about my birth experience and my mental illness. However I strongly believe my depression started the day I found out my pap was dying. He was my closest family member, a best friend and I loved him dearly.
One of my fondest memories of him was when we went off on our adventures to his hometown in Ireland when I was younger to visit his family. When I went round to his house he would have a bag of toffee’s on his table beside his chair. I always had one and lost many teeth because of it. Until my adult teeth came through of course.
I used to go to a cafe in town and bring him back a cake. We would have a cuppa and a catch up. Sometimes we went to the bingo. It was a laugh.
As a little girl I would go and sit on his lap and watch crazy western films. I would help him decorate his tree most years and spend Christmas day at his house. He would have a glass of sherry and put an old record on to have a boogie. I miss those days.
It’s hard to say but I watched him deteriorate over the years and become more ill over time. It was heart breaking. He slowly became a stranger to me. He wasn’t my bright funny outgoing pap that I always knew. He became quite fragile and restless.
He was still my pap in my mind.
When my mum told me that he had cancer I was distraught. I was in denial. I said ‘he will be fine they will treat him.’
Once I realised it was only a matter of time I watched him slowly get worse and become bed bound. He was forgetting things and sometimes thought I was my mum. She cared for him everyday until his last. She was up there morning and night and I thank her for having the courage to be there for him everyday. She truly is an inspirational women and a wonderful mother. She’s the sort of women who always puts everyone else first.
I had a phone call at work to come home quickly because the doctor didn’t think he would make it to the end of the day. I have never rushed home so quick in my life. I arrived at his house and there was this strange man laying in my paps bed. It really didn’t look like him. He was pale and fragile. He was hardly breathing, lying there helplessly.
I will always remember my pap the way he was.
A strong-willed, proud man, who was the most caring loving person I knew.
He passed away that day. I read a poem at his funeral, it was very hard and one of the worst days of my life.
I became very low.
Before my pap became ill we were trying for a baby. We had some news during his illness that we couldn’t conceive naturally and that we would have to have IVF. Months after my pap passed away I was due to go and start the procedure. It didn’t feel right going ahead after everything that had happened. We had failed fertility attempts and my mum said I should stop being silly and try. So we did and we fell with our little girl.
I still believe to this day that he went up to heaven, had a word and we were blessed with our little girl. Now some of you may think I’m crazy for saying that but we had our scan date through the post and it was booked on my pap’s birthday. I have never cried so much. I felt almost like it was a message from him saying everything will be ok.
When I sort counselling after my birth experience I spoke about my pap and said to her that I had this huge guilt feeling because of trying so soon after he passed. I think that stayed with me. I told her I struggled to come to terms with his loss. She felt my depression started there and carried on through my pregnancy. It really was one thing after another. I will say that the past three years have been hell. But I am remaining positive, well trying to.
His favourite bird was a robin. I have had this little robin visit my back door ever since he passed. It comes and sits at the back door and just stares at me. I always wave and it just sits there. I have a bird food table in the garden with food in so it can’t be after food.
Maybe I’m being an idiot and you will all think I’m being silly.
But I generally think its him checking on me.
Even if I am being silly it’s a great thought to have.
I love you Pap