Father's Day 2021: Harold Hill woman remembers dad Dean this Father's Day
- Credit: Tanya Prior
A Harold Hill woman has paid tribute to her dad - “the first man I ever loved" - ahead of Father’s Day without him this year.
Tanya Prior lost her father, Dean Prior, in August last year.
The carpenter, who worked for Havering Council and Breyer Group, died aged 57 from lymphedema, a condition where excess fluid collects in tissues and causes swelling.
"I got to love him 28 years of my life, not long enough, and now I will love and miss him until the end of mine,” Tanya said.
Tanya and her family could not visit Dean in hospital due to Covid restrictions and were only allowed 30 people at his funeral.
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Almost a year on, 28-year-old Tanya and her mother Elaine are still struggling to come to terms with the loss.
“It was just so unexpected, it’s mad how quickly it happened," Tanya said.
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“He was really outgoing and loved life, he was just amazing.
“I can’t believe it’s been a year, it’s gone so quickly but it doesn’t get easier."
Elaine, Dean’s partner of 33 years, added: “He was easy-go-lucky, and everybody loved him, absolutely everybody.
“He was a lovely, happy man and Tanya is absolutely lost without him.
“She was such a daddy’s girl.
“We’re all lost without him - totally lost.”
To mark what would have been Dean’s 58th birthday last month, Tanya ordered balloons and blue roses.
She plans to do the same on June 20 for Father’s Day, with Dean’s other children Lee, Brad, Danny and Emma joining the day.
Elaine added: “We will have a dance in the garden to reggae music, because he loved it.
“My family will all be together and we’ll drink a toast to Dean.
“It is so sad.
“He was such a family man, all he ever wanted was his family.”
The family recently invested in a racing greyhound, Bubbly Whisper, because Dean loved going to the dog races and also used to race pigeons.
Bubbly Whisper won a race last week, and the family are devastated Dean was not there to see it.
Elaine, who works as a cleaning supervisor with Tanya, added: “I’ve taught my daughter to keep going, keep your chin up.
“That’s all we can do.”