I am a father.
Five months have passed since my son Hamish Joseph Matthews passed away on Sunday 10th of September 2017 at 6:14pm. A date and time I’ll never forget in a million years. I write this now as I fly to Canberra on Tuesday the 6th of February. It was a flight to Canberra on the 6th of July I wrote my words of advice to you Hamish about the person of whom you were to become.
The letter I wrote was supposed to be given to you when you had grown up to make sure that you became the person you want to be. Not to let others change you, it was for you to know you can become the man you want to be.
It was part of my life experience of trying to find my true self and not let others define me in any shape or form. Little did I know or imagine that back in July I would be writing this about my son five months later who is no longer with me. Little did I know I would be reading out the letter at your funeral two months later.
My little buddy, I had dreamed of you for nine months wondering what you would look like. Who
you would become as you grew up and everything that you can imagine. I’ve never been so happy in my life to know I’m going to finally be a daddy to you.
I just imagined turning up to the hospital once you were born with every football sports code of footballs, strips, mini boots and taking a photo with you saying “take your pick son!!” I have your first football, NRL and AFL ball at home still in your room wishing you could play with them.
You never admit when you are younger that you want kids but I’ve always known I’d love to be a dad. I wanted to give all the love in the world to one little person and for them to grasp life and achieve anything they wanted. I wanted you to believe that anything is possible and not to think you can’t do something because someone tells you that you can’t.
Hamish I’ve learnt a lot over these five months. The initial shock to the system of the news at 5pm on a Saturday night that my son had died. Looking at your mum crawl up into a ball of pain crying out “Why? Why has this happened to us? Why has this happened to me? Why did we have to lose our precious Hamish?” in which I’ll never get the image out of my head. Everyday I think of that image.
I’m standing in front of your mum helpless to do anything to take away this pain. If I could show this image to people I would. The ones who don’t get what happened. Try having this repeat in your head over and over of the only person you’ve loved more than the world apart from you my son in pain and agony, scared and she doesn’t know what to do now. My guess is people wouldn’t want it. They wouldn’t want to see or feel that pain. I can’t blame them but if someone doesn’t get it gee I wish I could turn that image on for them sometimes.
It’s just frustrating little things now in life if someone says something to you that’s insensitive or something normal you will question every way possible what the fuck do they mean. I’ve had people tell me their opinion views or in fact not bring up the subject of you Hamish.
I’m happy to discuss with people about stillborn babies and share my experiences, the fear, the pain, the loss and anger. You just want to educate and help people and let them know that it’s ok to talk about loss and death in life. I’ll acknowledge my son on his birthday, my birthday, his mum’s birthday, my sister’s birthday, brothers and sister in laws and grandparents, friends, every Christmas you name it Hamish will be there on every occasion.
My son is telling me do something with my life. I’d do anything I have him in my arms but I can’t and I can’t explain why not but I’ll find out one day. Hamish my note to you is that I’m in a good place mentally. I still have my bad days but I think of you and it makes me want to take each day as a blessing and make something of this new life.
I love you more than anything my son