𝗔 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗖𝘂𝘁 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘁: 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻𝘁
When my father passed, and for reasons that I still cannot fully comprehend, I was not allowed to visit him in hospital and ultimately was not there to say goodbye and tell him I loved him before he died.
This has been, and remains to this day, a deep regret that has coloured my attitude to life, my reactions to life events and relationships, both personal and business. All this has led me in my 70s to write A Voyage Without My Father.
It is addressed to men in particular who have been affected by the loss of a parent, male or female, through death, divorce or them just walking out.
Why men in particular? Because through my research,
it is evident that it is men who don’t talk about this traumatic event and give voice to their feeling and how it has impacted their lives. But of course, I recognise that women also suffer undisclosed trauma and have to cope with the pain of the death of a loved one. I hope, therefore, that within these pages, are processes and ideas that give them the tools to help themselves and their partners.
In this book I relate my personal experiences of growing up without a father as well as telling the stories of others who have grown up without
the guiding hand of a loving parent, and had to deal with this life-shaping situation.
Some, as with me, have had to face those moments in life where the presence of a mother or a fatherly role model would have been of immense comfort and value.
Others, like my brother, who at the age of 17 had to become the head of the family. A position that he was ill-prepared for, and in the early years prevented him from pursing a cherished career. It also affected his attitude to me, his ‘baby brother’, whom he now had to look after, as well as
my attitude to him, for assuming a fatherly role which I resented.
I want to share the coping strategies that I and others have had to adopt to deal with the pressure and emptiness that we face when the feeling of loss becomes too acute. When the imagined voice of our parent whispers in our ear and tells us that we have done well or have not.
• At school, where there was no father or mother to cheer us on.
• During adolescence, when our raging hormones needed sage advice.
• At birthdays, baptisms, christening, confirmations, bar and bat mitzvahs, on wedding days and coming of-age ceremonies.
• In our adult life when, faced with the loss of relatives and friends, the suppressed feelings of grief
• At other significant life cycle events, where our mother or father should be standing by our sides
but are not.
• During a divorce.
• At the birth of our children.
• At the birth of our children’s children.
Or when those subdued traumatic experiences bring all the unresolved emotions once more to the surface. I hope that by reading my story it will add clarity, offer consolation and the realisation that those sublimated feeling should be aired. This is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
That the pain we carry with us should be acknowledged and offer us a deeper understanding of our motivations, whether this aids us or
So here I relate my history, of half-remembered moments, half-imagined experiences. The details becoming fainter, the more we try to recall them.
Like water in a cupped hand, we try so hard to hold onto them, but they drain away, leaving only droplets of memories. Like dried tears, they stain our lives.
A Voyage Without My Father’ follows my life as I navigate from childhood to adulthood, without my parent.
Grief and loss is a mental health issue. I am compelled to highlight the traumas I experienced and offer their life lessons, processes and strategies that have helped me overcome the personal pain and regret of losing a loved one.
I chose to create this moving and hopefully ultimately uplifting book, in order to help those who have been in a similar situation.
And now, because of the Covid pandemic, I know it is a crucial time for resources to help with grieving.
I hopes that by sharing his loss, pain and hope, I will be able to assist others in their struggles after losing a loved one.
My journey has provided tools to cope with these experiences and emotions,' and Ihope to share this with anyone in need.
I have likened the structure of this book to the plot of a disaster movie, shifting not from chapter to chapter, but from scene to scene.
Typically, the movie starts by acquainting us with the characters whose lives we are about to follow.
Then we accompany them on their journey and experience through their eyes, the trauma, the catastrophe, or the heartbreak they live through.
Finally, we experience with them their denouement, the outcome of the sequence of events, the coming together of the strands of the story, how the characters survive the situations and the impact it has on their lives.
And so, it is with my story.
• The Opening Scenes – a picture painted of domestic bliss and a happy family life.
• The Disaster – the tragedy of parental loss and the way it affected me and those around me.
• The Finale – the lessons learnt and the strategies that I and others use to resolve their sense of loss, their mental health issues and the
processes used to overcome them.
Even allowing for the gravity of the topic to be shared, my narration is not without humour. Many of the stories I relate have comic outcomes and unintentionally funny repercussions.
So, please come and join me on this voyage of personal discovery.
“𝙒𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙤𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙮𝙤𝙪