Life after Dad

The last 2 months have been a nightmare and sometimes, even now, I can’t believe it’s real. My Dad passed away on the 13th of May after suffering a massive heart attack whilst on a business trip in the Philippines.

I know it hasn’t completely hit me yet, the last 2 months have been a whirlwind and I often find myself thinking that I don’t want to believe it has actually happened. My dad was an absolute hero and at only 65 years old I keep thinking, why?

Dad had just arrived in the Philippines and had literally just pulled up to his hotel when he went into cardiac arrest. Arriving at the hospital in Manila he was DOA (we weren’t told this at first and when I did find out it broke my heart) – 54 minutes later the amazing doctors brought his heart back. My Mum was in Saudi Arabia so on hearing what had happened she got on the next flight and arrived in the Philippines the following day. We didn’t know how bad Dad was, I suppose his colleagues didn’t want us to know the whole story until we got to the hospital ourselves. All we were told was to get there. So my brother and I, along with our Aunt and Nan (88 years old!), spent the 15-hour flight from London with high hopes, joking that Dad would be fine and annoyed about all of the fuss made over him.

The Philippines had always been somewhere I had wanted to go, but never under such awful circumstances. We went straight to the hospital from the airport and my heart sank when I saw my dad hooked up to a crazy amount of machines. It was only then that I realised Dad wasn’t going to be the same again, but I still had hope that he would pull through.

The next morning after a few hours’ sleep we headed back to the hospital to meet with the 6 specialists, that meeting would change our lives forever. The consultants explained that there was nothing more they could do and that the only choice we had was to turn off the life support. I will never forget looking up at my brother and seeing the pain etched into his face. Each of us were trying to stay strong but all I wanted to do was run away and hide. We were told that it would take roughly 4 hours for my dad to go, my dad was an amazing man and didn’t give up without a fight. 48 hours later on 13th May he left us.

The days after that were a blur, flying home, speaking to family and friends. Everything was so surreal, thinking back now it feels like it was just yesterday. I know everyone thinks their dad is the best but my dad really was my hero. He was such a strong, hardworking man and he did it all for his family. Dad sacrificed so much so that we never wanted for anything and one of my biggest regrets now is that I don’t even think he knew how grateful I was. As he lived and worked in Saudi Arabia (Mum split her time between there and the UK) my brother and I only saw him 3-4 times a year but we would cherish every moment we saw him. Even now I sometimes forget and think he’s still over in Saudi, working away, and that he’ll be home soon. But then I have to remind myself that he’s not coming back and this is real.

I wish I had had the chance to tell my Dad how much I appreciated everything he did, how much I loved him. I look back now and treasure all of the times we spent together, he had a wicked sense of humour and he was loved by everyone that knew him. It’s so sad to think that it’s only now I realise how lucky I am to have him for a Dad, I didn’t even think about it before, but as everyone says – you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. And that is so incredibly true.

I will forever be a Daddy’s girl, and there won’t be one day that goes by where I won’t miss him. The older you get, unexplainable things happen – and I don’t think you are meant to know why they’ve happened – but I just wish that my dad hadn’t been taken away so soon. They always say that the best ones go first, and my dad was definitely up there with the best of them.




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