Let dad know you love him this Father’s Day - while you can

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It’s Father’s Day on Sunday and, for those of us who still have ours us around, it’s a time to reflect on the sacrifices they have made for us as well as how they have helped shape who we are growing up, writes YEP guest columnist Dave Kelly.

I’m coming up to 40 in July and life seems to have reached the stage where it stops giving and starts taking away. But through the passage of time when our own parents kick on to the next level, I find myself becoming more and more like them every day. Father’s Day is much more than an excuse for Hallmark to up their annual profit, and Marks and Spencer to sell a few more pairs of socks.

Being a dad is a blessing and my own experience has been a massive learning curve from day one. Being a dad did not come naturally to me and I often berate my own Dad for his so called antics - but I know in my heart he does things in his own way – pretty much like me with my own kids, so who am I to criticise?

For some, this could be a sad time if you have lost your dad recently and my heart goes out to my pal Paul Simpson who lost his last Saturday after he took ill.

Facebook aside, how do you really make sure people close to you are okay and are supported? Go and see them, check in with them and take them for a pint and listen, just be there. Death, natural or not, is just a part of living.

When someone goes suddenly it can knock us for six and it helps to have people around and layers of support from pals. Of course, it’s sad when someone goes before their time isn’t it?

How we deal with loss and process is different for all of us but it’s an issue that affects us all and we need to deal with it when it happens.

So how do we prepare ourselves and be there for others when it does happen? How did we deal with death before social media, because after all, this is not exactly a taboo subject but one that is usually dealt with within families and as such is treated with respect? And hopefully dignity.

We have lost a few celebrities recently, added to an ever growing list of people that we grew up with and helped shape us in our youth. This can be a vocal point for so-called ‘grief tourists’.

Think of the viral videos of that Scottish lady singing at the side of her friend’s grave that has gone worldwide for all the wrong reasons - a big difference to the roses being hurled at Lady Diana’s state funeral.

Speaking of funerals, the morbid part aside, they can be quite nice events can’t they.

Put the duty to a loved one and the memories part aside, it’s a shame that these occasions are the only time we get to see old friends or relatives, have a few drinks and a catch up.

They are also a chance to let the recovery process begin.

Make no mistake, the process of losing someone close to us is inevitable as nothing stays the same forever, but it is a part of life and live does go on.

So if your dad is still around, let him know how much you love him, try not to let him drive you up the wall and remember, you’ll miss him when he’s gone.