For Father's Day we bring you the story of Darren Clark and family.
It’s been a year and a half since Darren Clark’s wife, Sharon, died from complications from pneumonia--and Father’s Day since her passing has extra meaning. Darren admits that even though his children, Megan, 18, Josh, 21 and Jack, 23, are adults, he is still adjusting to his new role as a “mom/dad.”
In particular, Darren confesses to having extra worries about his daughter Megan. “There are things she really needs a mum to help her with. It’s been really tough for her as she was only a young teenager when her mum died. I do my best, but it’s not the same as having your mum help and guide the way.”
Darren, aged 46, had been married to his wife Sharon for eighteen years and the pair had been together for thirty-two. “We met when we were very, very young, but we stayed together.” Clearly, the love was strong and Darren was devastated when Sharon died. He threw himself into giving back to QA Hospital as he felt they did a “tremendous” job helping his wife and the entire family. Darren ran in the Great South Run, did a charity skydive and organised two charity car washes. He donated £3,391 to the critical care unit at QA Hospital.
But he was grieving--as were all his children. Darren made the decision that all of his children were to have grief counseling. “I absolutely insisted. They didn’t really want to, but as a dad, you want to get the children all the help they need. The grief counselors were amazing and helped a lot.
Despite keeping busy, after spending his entire adult life with Sharon, and having to make all the hard decisions about end of life care, Darren had his own need for counseling. “I had to make the decision to turn the machines off. I want to be open about this and how it affected me so other people understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking help.”
Darren’s first Father’s Day after his wife’s death was a quiet, family affair. “I made a barbeque and invited the whole family—including Sharon’s parents. We tried to make it as light-hearted as possible.”
This Father’s Day he “is not going to make a fuss,” but hopes to see his children.
He is proud of all his family and after bragging about his sons, goes on to say that his daughter has chosen to be a hair dresser just like her late mother. Darren also admits that after a year of profound mourning, and staying home every night to be there for his children, there is a new woman in his life. “My children are so supportive of this. They told me above everything they want me to be happy.” But he admits that no matter what, his children will always come first.
Perhaps his daughter Megan says it best: “My dad is a true inspiration to me, constantly putting us before himself. There is simply not enough words to describe how amazing he is and has been. My mum would be so proud of how he's kept us all together.”