Happy Father’s Day


June 16, 2013 by Lindsay Sharman

For the past hour I’ve been searching for an old e-mail I sent to mum around 2005 about this incredibly vivid dream I had of dad. I couldn’t find it, but in the process I went through emails to friends and family dating from 1999 to 2006. It was a really interesting (if you’re me) glimpse into Younger Lindsay’s mind and style of communication. She was more of a poseur than I remember, a bit intellectually insecure judging from some of the high-falutin references crow-barred into conversation (especially in the e-mails to an old flame, Christ, we both deserved a bloody slap). Strange, because I remember how little confidence I had, and yet I come across as incredibly sure of myself; zinging out over-egged witticisms like an obnoxious twat.

I’m being a little harsh on myself. Some of it is pretty (intentionally) funny. I just seem young and dewy-brained, adopting the sort of dramatic posturing you do when you think the world is being a bit slow to recognise how special you are.

I suppose the main thing that’s changed between Past Lindsay and New-and-Improved Extra Soft Extra Strong Sharman is (a) I give less of a shit about what other people think of me, and (b) I know how things work more (social contracts with other human beings, public transport.)

It’s a bloody relief. Stockpiling shits to give is exhausting.

Anyway! Back to the dream. This dream was and is important to me because it formed the basis of a personal life philosophy. I had it several years after dad died, and it was so vivid that I still remember the feel of it. So here it is. A dream (and consequently probably uninteresting to anyone else) of my dad.

The dream starts with the turning pages of dad’s diary, a diary that in real-life he didn’t keep. The pages turn as if blown by a wind, in very cheesy cinematic style. Then they flutter to a stop, and I recall a vague dream-awareness that this was because dad was no longer writing in the diary. Because he was, y’know. Dead.

(Another thing to bear in mind as context while reading this is that my dad was much loved, and his absence hollowed out me and my family for years. So the dream is suffused with a sort of…I don’t know how to put it. A special, bitter-sweet edge, I suppose. I had quite a few dreams where dad was still alive, but something nagged at dream-me, and dream-me knew something wasn’t quite right. It was like a sense of heightened awareness without being able to grasp the reason why I was on the alert. But with this dream, uniquely, I knew he wasn’t alive.)

Then the action switches (see, very cinematic.) Me and dad are standing side-by-side on the beach in Brunei where we all used to walk the dogs. We’re dressed in our swimsuits, stood on the sand with our backs to a strip of jungle. The tide is going out but we’re only about ten long strides to the edge of the South China Sea. It’s sunset, the sky is a dramatic wash of bright orange, and the sea is dark blue.

The atmosphere is really calm. I’m just stood with my dad, chilling, having a peaceful moment looking at the sea.

Then I notice his arms. In real life, dad had completely normal arms, but in the dream, they’re thin and wasted as if he’s been ill. It’s disquieting.

And then he says something no-one is going to understand so I’ll have to explain it, which will ruin the cinematic impact of a loved-one imparting wisdom from beyond the grave.

He said, “don’t let your arms get weak, Lindsay. You’ve got to keep them strong so the current doesn’t take you.”

Ahhhhh god. This really upsets me, writing this. Because what I understood it to mean was that he’d let something in him weaken, and that had contributed to his premature death.

(He died of a pulmonary embolism, so this doesn’t necessarily make literal sense.)

And he was saying that if I didn’t want life to pull me under, I had to build up reserves of strength. Exercise my….mind-arms. Basically, “be strong, keep strong, don’t let yourself weaken.”

And that’s essentially my philosophy. That and “let’s try and have as much fun as possible” and “I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to.” Although these philosophies don’t have any profoundly moving dreams attached to them.

Happy Father’s Day!!!


3 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day

  1. Glenda Sharman says:

    Hi Lindsay, it’s mumsie here. It’s 18 years since your dad died, and after all this time, your sister Hayley, and you and me, still find it difficult to talk about dad and his untimely death at length without an overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss. And to avoid tears or any kind of emotional outburst, we change tack and talk of other things. Maybe that’s cowardly? Or maybe that’s being strong? Whatever way you look at it, it is our way of dealing with the heartbreak and loss of a very clever, funny and lovable father and husband.

    I’m so glad you wrote this blog in memory of your dad on Father’s Day, Lindsay, as he would have been so proud of both you and Hayley, and all that you have achieved over the past 18 years.

    • Hayley Morrison says:


      Lindsay – I second what mum has said, am really pleased you posted this – incredibly touching & heartwarming.

      Mum – It makes me full of pride knowing he would have been proud of Lindsay & I. And he would been incredibly proud of what you have achieved in the last 18yrs too!!

      Whether I talk openly about him or not, he is always in my heart.


    • I second and third what you and Hayley have said! Glad you both liked it. I saw all the messages about Father’s Day on Facebook, and I don’t know why, but this year I didn’t feel like keeping it to myself and just waiting for it to pass. I don’t think any of us like to make a fuss and we like to keep things light and cheerful, which I think has generally kept us fairly sane, but it’s been really nice acknowledging what he meant to us as well.
      Awwwwwww this has been very emotional! And public! Which isn’t like us at all!
      I’m very proud of my family xxxxxxx

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