#itcouldbeyou – Losing my Dad at an age I needed him most

‪#‎itcouldbeyou‬ – I’m Aiz & this is my story.

Aiz_ICBYIt was a day etched in the history annals as the darkest day in my existence. It happened and I was jolted out of adolescence into adulthood, being a Man’s Man.
Every speck of details in that moment never truly left me – the dimness of the room, trail of tears on my mum’s face, the silence that follows that statement. Words that still feel so raw every time I recall the mere sound of it.
That fateful day, I woke up to a commotion that broke out from my parents’ room. I crawled out of bed and was greeted by the most shocking sight in my life.
Tears rolling down her cheeks, my mom was shattered. She whispered between sobs, “I couldn’t wake him up, I tried, but I just couldn’t”.
Dreadfully, I turned my head to the body lying next to her. There he was, cold as ice. My dad laid motionless. No amount of resuscitation could help. I crumbled to the floor and pleaded for him to wake up. There was still no response. I rushed out of the house and broke down into tears.
Looking over my shoulders, I didn’t want anyone to catch me bawling. Much like Tom Hanks’ character in Saving Private Ryan, I couldn’t allow anyone, not least my mum and sister to see the excruciating torment I had.
Growing up, I watched movies like The Godfather and the Bourne trilogy and looked up to Michael Corleone and Jason Bourne for strength and resolve. I had to be a man and keep it all in.
To be strong for everyone, I bawled my eyes out as much as I could before going back home to check on my sister.
From then on, I refused to shed a tear for many years to come. After my father passed away, I found a coping mechanism to hide and suppress my emotions. I put up a façade of strength to hide the fact that deep inside me, I was a shattered boy. I had no father. I am an orphan.
I suffered alone to protect others from my pain. I became emotionally distant. I continued to pummel any sort of perceived weakness until one day, I started to feel again.
Watching The Godfather and the Bourne trilogy, I failed to remember that in the end, the hero characters inevitably broke down into tears. And their invincibility was stripped away.
Over the years, I learnt that a Man’s Man isn’t only about being the strongest person impregnable to tears. I am very keen to rubbish the notion that someone has of suffering alone. A true man acknowledges suffering and is not afraid to be vulnerable.
Please share my story and your story with us. We’d really appreciate it🙏🏼

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