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I've been signed up to this site for about two weeks and have wanted to start writing articles, but couldn't find anything good to write about. Then on the 31st October 2017, it hit me. My first article will be about one of the worst days of my life and how this holiday is a part of that.
To start, I am going to go back to 31st October 2008 along the south coast of England. Now I would like you to picture a ten-year-old boy; a little under average height for his age, brown eyes, brown hair, White (The White part isn't important, I just want you to get an accurate image). Now imagine him out with his little brother and older sister trick-or-treating, having a moderately successful evening as not many houses near where I grew up partook in Halloween. My older brother was now at the point where trick-or-treating wasn't cool. As you can imagine, living in England in mid-Autumn is already a cold night, but you can still have fun dressed up, going door to door collecting sweets and candy. But now think of how much colder that night would become when you're back in the comfort of your own home, for your mother to come into the house with your uncles and aunties to announce that the cancer had won and that your father had died.
Now for some reason, I knew what the news was before my mother had even opened her mouth. I saw on her face what she was about to say to us, and I can still remember that night exactly how it went down. We were sat in our front room discussing the night and then my mother came through the front door. I jumped up to see her and immediately saw the sadness on her face. Without hesitation I said, "Did Dad die?" She then sat me and brothers down on the couch and explained what had happened. As she did this I took in every detail of everyone's faces as they soon became a blur through the tears in my eyes. I remember feeling so angry in that moment that I started to punch the pillows around me. But the thing I remember most is my sister's reaction. She didn't have one — or at least she didn't show it. Now, she was 15 at the time, but the vivid image of her sitting on the arm of the chair, no tears in her eyes or even a glimmer of sadness on her face confused me so much. Why wasn't she crying? Did she not care? These are questions I have since come to forget as I now understand her reaction. She was watching everyone cry, including my mother. Maybe subconsciously she knew that she would have to be the strong one in that moment or maybe she even fully knew what she was doing. Either way, I'm thankful for that, as she became one of the strongest members of our family.
Every year on October 31st, I am reminded of that night. Although the memories never fade, they are most visible on this night. Memories. This time next year, I would have created more memories without my father than with him. I will have friendships that will have been around longer than the relationship I had with him. And that's the worst part. Knowing that everything you do from that point, is done without him there. Without him there to cheer you on, or give you advice or to even keep you in your place. Not a day goes by where I don't think about him and how different my life would have been if he were still around. Everything I do, is to honour his memory and to make him proud. I just hope I'm doing a good job with it.
A lot has happened since that night. Not just to me but to everyone that was affected by his passing. I hope that, if there is some sort of after life, he's looking down on me and taking solace in the fact that I can smile in everyday life.
I'm not sure if people will feel connected with this story but this is what was on my mind. If anyone who does read this is going through a similar situation and would like to know how I handled death in more detail, please let me know. Thank you for reading.
My first article is dedicated to my late Father who died of Leukaemia on the 31st October 2008.