FOCUS ON THOSE HAPPY MOMENTS
Harry Corin, who has shared his experience of losing his father to suicide on The Book Of Man, didn’t always mark Father’s Day. For a while, he didn’t want to talk about his dad full stop. Now that he doesn’t hold as much hurt and anger, instead Harry will now spend the day being that bit kinder to himself.
“For much of my childhood, I buried any thought of my dad, which meant that I point-blank refused to do anything on Father’s Day. Like most days, I went on as if nothing really happened at all. Since opening up more in recent years, I will do all the things that make me feel good: running, eating good food, and watching sport.”
Sharing stories of his dad can be tough, but Harry has some amazing memories. From 900 mile journeys to watch their rival football clubs Newcastle and Spurs, to his dad’s canal boat. “All he had was the frame at first and over a couple of years, he built a truly amazing interior. I have some great memories from the boat, especially the first time it was ever placed in water. I remember thinking, ‘will it float or sink?’ I was young, I can be forgiven.”
IF YOU’RE DOING YOUR BEST, YOU’RE DOING ENOUGH
There can be a lot of guilt around the relationships you build as a dad – or with your dad. Am I doing enough? Are we close enough? And if you lost someone you loved to suicide Father’s Day may bring back some unanswered questions that may start to swirl around your mind again.
A good thing to always remember is: if you’re doing your best, you’re doing enough. You can’t fix everything so go easy on yourself if everything’s not perfect. and that taking time out for yourself sometimes doesn’t mean you’re not giving enough to everyone else.
Sometimes you just need to hear that: like our ambassador Leon MacKenzie says: “Many years ago having attempted to take my own life, my dad showed empathy, love but ultimately listened to me. After waking up, ever since that day he has called me most days and I always took those calls for granted before. This taught me a valuable lesson, showing someone you care about them and are making an effort that can change your mindset forever. Thank you, Dad.”
And if you’re grieving you need to look after yourself and cope with how you’re feeling the way you want to. So have that afternoon nap or binge watch that Netflix series and don’t leave the sofa today. Tomorrow is another day to get up and tackle all the emotions. And don’t feel guilty if you find yourself feeling happy or enjoying yourself – it doesn’t mean you’re forgetting about them.
SPEND TIME WITH OTHERS – BUT DON’T PUSH YOURSELF
Being around others is often a great help and place for support. Chatting, relaxing, taking your focus away from your own thoughts for a while. So, if you want to see your mates, don’t be afraid to be up front and ask them to do something – they will want to support you in any way they can.
But it’s also OK if you don’t feel like meeting up or jumping on a video call and facing everyone. Taking some time to reflect and remember them quietly – maybe looking at some photos or just going over a happy memory of them might work best for you. Thinking about what they’d be doing now can be comforting in some ways, too. Even without his father here, Harry’s dad still has an immeasurable impact on his life. “He was a role model for me. I looked up to him and I still do now and a thought that sits on my mind is – ‘what would our relationship be like now?’ I have so many questions like this.”