"The soundtrack to your life ended too soon but I want you to know that the greatest hits far outweighed the bad.?"
Monica writes a letter to her father, who died due to alcohol.
A childhood memory has been washing over me this past week. I was so excited to see you after being away in Nottingham visiting Auntie Josephine and Uncle John that in my rush to sprint across the platform, I fell and burst my knee.
I was always running towards you. Meeting you at the gate when you came home from work. The stereotypical daddy’s girl.
I don’t remember when I first became aware that your drinking had become ‘an issue’ but when it had got so bad that you spent some time in residential rehab, there I was again – running towards you. It was a hopeful time. I knew you would apply yourself in that studious way you approached college courses and the responsibilities of work. You always were a hard worker.
We went to Alcoholics Anonymous together. It was an open meeting in the Southside of Glasgow as you wanted to avoid local groups. Going to AA meetings with your dad is not how most teenage girls spend their evenings, but it fascinated me. I often wonder what happened to all the other people. I hope their families and friends know how much they wanted to get well and to undo any hurt.
A whole lot of life happens when you are waiting for rock bottom. Part of me always believed that you would fall so hard that recovery would follow. There were times it was too difficult to be around. Too many days when it was too painful to run to you. On those dark days when we were apart, I hope you know you were always loved.
If you’d lived one more year to see me elected to the Scottish Parliament, it would have been a special moment for us to share.
Instead, I seek the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. You showed me how to stand up for people and just causes.
Thank you for believing in me and helping me find the courage to change the things I can. Having the wisdom to know the difference is still a work in progress, so I will be back soon for a chat, bringing you flowers and singing along to the ‘Dad’ playlist.
The soundtrack to your life ended too soon but I want you to know that the great far outweighed the bad.
Love you always,
His death was preventable.
Monica's story shows the devastating impact the loss of a life to alcohol or drugs has on the family and friends left behind.
We have the power to create change, especially when we come together to take action. You can support this work by agreeing to the "See Beyond" pledge below.
“I pledge to be respectful and compassionate towards those affected by substance use, including the families and friends of those who have died from alcohol or drugs.
I will show respect by using kind and non-judgmental language about those affected by alcohol or drugs.
I will show compassion by reaching out to someone who has lost a loved one to alcohol or drugs and asking them how they are doing today.”
Thank you for making a difference.
We have compiled some resources to provide support to people who are affected by someone’s drug/alcohol use as well as those impacted by the death of a loved one due to drugs/alcohol.