July 16th, 1979.
This marks the beginning. In some ways it also marks the end. This is the day my life changed upon the death of my father, John Francis McDermott.
I was fourteen and enjoying summer break from school. Sleeping in as was typical for me, I woke upon hearing my mom yelling at our dog, not at all typical.
As I was walking out of my bedroom into the hall, I was met by my mom who was frantic. She told me not to go downstairs because their was something wrong with my father.
Being the teenage boy I was, I went downstairs. I found my dad on the couch in the family room. He was laying on his back, hands folded on his chest. He felt cold and his lips blue. We learned he died of a heart attack in his sleep.
We believe he felt the symptoms sometime during the night and went down stairs.
As a 14 year old who had never had to deal with the death of a family member before, I quickly found myself enveloped in what I can best describe as a dark veil.
I felt overwhelmed with grief and didn’t know how to cope or what to do.
The face of death was very real.