I am incredibly sad, my heart wrenches every time I think of my father - daughter of murdered businessman Nelson Cheung
Since the day that I learned of the horrendous crime against my father more than two years ago, I have been dreaming about the days that these criminals would stand trial for their acts and be brought to justice, and the day on which this “victim impact” statement would be read.
Yet, as I sit down to write the letter that I have been thinking about for more than two years, I find myself lost for words. I don’t know which stage of grief I am at. And I don’t know how to put into words my loss, how I feel and how it impacted me.
Do you have a daughter? If you do, then you would have the privilege of experiencing that special bond shared between a father and his little girl. Then perhaps you would understand what’s gone from my world since that evening, and the love and respect I had for my father. To me, my father was not the “Nelson Cheung” that you read or hear about in the newspapers, in court papers, or on the news. He was my rock, my beacon, my protector, and the voice of wisdom as I was growing up.
My brother and I stayed with my father when my parents separated when I was three years old. I remember there was always a table full of breakfast which he prepared for us before he left for work every morning. I will never forget how he cared for me, the warmth that I felt as a child when he held my hand, how he taught me to stand up for myself, to believe in myself and that I can be whatever I want to be.
My father called me a few months before his death to tell me that he was considering retiring and moving back to New Zealand, as he had severe pain in his feet for a while and found it physically challenging to continue working. That was the first time I heard my father complain about anything, and the first time I felt that even my father was getting old.
He was only two months away from his retirement when he was murdered. Winnie told me that, in the morning before he was killed, he happily showed her pictures of the house in New Zealand which he was considering buying for them when they retire. In the same year of his death, I got engaged. My older brother’s first child, my father’s first grandchild, was born. My wedding took place the following year. This year, my first child, my father’s second grandchild, was born.
My father never got the chance to enjoy his retirement that he looked so much forward to, nor to walk his only daughter down the aisle, nor to enjoy his grandchildren. It breaks my heart to think that he never even got the chance to lay in his warm bed at home again. He was stabbed 17 times and bled to death in a road-side ditch in the dark cold night, in fear and panic. It pains me to think about his thoughts and emotions in the last moments of his life as he laid there on the ground, watching a stranger holding a knife to his wife while his own life was slipping away. Was he cold? Was it quick? Did he think about his children far away? Was he angry? Or did he feel lonely and sad?
Robbed of the happy memories of my father at my wedding or playing with my child, I have instead, forever, in my mind images of my father's lifeless body lying on the cold autopsy table and in his coffin; of his coffin being taken off of the plane like any other cargo; and of his body being carried out of his coffin into the fridge with bloody bodily fluid seeping through his back.
Even the make-up carefully done on his sunken face could not mask the fact that life had already been brutally taken away from his body a long time ago. No one deserves to go out like this. No little girl should ever see her father like this.
I am incredibly sad. The deep grief is so intense that my heart wrenches every time I think of my father. I dare not think of my father or even the happy memories unless I am alone. I am sad that he’s been taken away from me so early. I am even more sad about the way in which he was taken away. He should have left this world in his own bed surrounded by his loved ones, not in a roadside ditch in the cold like an animal.
Nothing can undo any of this and nothing can bring my father back to me. Nothing. Life continues to go on but I know nothing can fill that void that’s been left behind. I have given up hoping that I will wake up one day and it’s nothing but a nightmare.
Daughter of Nelson Cheung - who does not wish to be named.
Belfast Telegraph Digital