Being A Dad – Failing & Trying Again

‘When I’m Gone’ is a song by controversial rapper, Eminem, that really hits home in more ways than one. In 2006 this song went to the top in the Australian charts and Top Ten around the world. Interestingly Australia was the only country where it went to number one. I think Australians are attracted to honesty and Eminem lets it all out of the bag.

Eminem, Marshall Mathers, has been one of the most provocative artists of the last few decades. He is one of the top selling solo artists of all time. His antics make most music groups look like choir boys. To his credit he celebrated ten years of sobriety in April this year that at least shows he is having a go.

I can’t vouch for his lifestyle or any of his other songs but ‘When I am Gone’ is a video clip that you simply must watch/hear if you are a father. Click on the link now and I guarantee watching it will deeply move you.

Eminem’s father abandoned the family shortly after he was born. If there was ever an advertisement for the negative effects of fatherlessness Eminem would take the prize.

According to Wikipedia ‘When I’m Gone’ is a “song about Eminem’s career’s effect on his relationship with his wife Kim. The song  talks about him not being there for his daughter, Hailie, and (in a sort of metaphoric “dream”) Hailie confronts him at a concert in Sweden and demands to know why he was so cruel towards Kim (his ex-wife). She ends the confrontation by telling Eminem that he loves his fame, career, and fans more than his own family.”

This is the first verse and chorus of “When I’m Gone”. Its brutal honesty is telling.

(Note: ‘Slim Shady’ is a previous stage name of Eminem).

It’s my life…
My own words I guess…

[Verse 1]
Have you ever loved someone so much, you’d give an arm for?
Not the expression, no, literally give an arm for?
When they know they’re your heart
And you know you were their armour
And you will destroy anyone who would try to harm ‘her
But what happens when karma, turns right around and bites you?
And everything you stand for, turns on you, despite you?
What happens when you become the main source of her pain?
“Daddy look what I made”, “Dad’s gotta go catch a plane”
“Daddy where’s Mommy? I can’t find Mommy where is she?”
“I don’t know go play Hailie, baby, your Daddy’s busy
Daddy’s writing a song, this song ain’t gonna write itself
I’ll give you one underdog then you gotta swing by yourself”
Then turn right around in that song and tell her you love her
And put hands on her mother, who’s a spitting image of her
That’s Slim Shady, yeah baby, Slim Shady’s crazy
Shady made me, but tonight Shady’s rocka-by-baby…

And when I’m gone, just carry on, don’t mourn
Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice
Just know that I’m looking down on you smiling
And I didn’t feel a thing, So baby don’t feel no pain
Just smile back

Some time ago my good friend Peter Hunt sent me the link to ‘When I’m Gone’ with the words, “You just gotta see this!” I agree and repeat without apology, “you gotta see this” but I am not alone; over 241,337 people have made comments about this clip and it has been viewed over 641 million times!

Why does this song strike such a deep chord in so many people? For starters the fatherless generation that made Eminem famous knew the lyrics way before Eminem rapped them. Watching the video clip reminded me of my own failure as a father. When my daughter sang at her last school concert several years ago, and I chose to work at the office rather than go and see her perform. I really kicked myself when I later found out that the song she sang was an original. I put my career in front of my children. As I have already said, Eminem’s brutal honesty is telling.

Unfortunately Marshall Mather’s song is a little bit too close to home for most of us.

Having said that just this week I had an opportunity to redeem myself. My daughter rang up to tell us she was looking at a late model second hand Mazda. She didn’t ask me to go up to Sydney to help her with the purchase of the car but I knew she would be happy if I did so I moved everything around and drove up to be there for her at a few hours’ notice. She was so glad for my sacrifice and I was glad to be a Dad for my little princess once again. She had forgotten about my missed school concert but I had not forgotten my failure. The good news is I tried again.

Tim Hansel was write to say, “It takes time to be a good father. It takes effort – trying, failing, and trying again.” Thank you Eminem!!!


Watch Eminems “When I am Gone” video clip if you dare and if you are moved or inspired, pass this message on to another father you know.

Yours for our children

Warwick Marsh

PS:  Yippee we met our matched giving target. For those who helped out you really did well.  I will give you a full report mid-week.

PS2: PS. Good News – Early Bird Registration closes midnight, Sunday 1st July for the Men’s Leadership Summit, 17 – 19 August at Stanwell Tops near Sydney. “As iron sharpens iron so does the face of a man’s friend”. We need each other to stay sharp. Opportunities like this don’t come up very often. Early indications are that the Mens Leadership Summit could well book out. Secure your place while there is still time. Call up a friend and ask him to go with you. Watch the promo video here to get the full picture. Check out all the information at this link or scroll down to News & Info. Save yourself $40 with early bird registration and make your BOOKING HERE.

By |2019-03-05T01:37:53+10:00June 30th, 2018|Children, Dads, Families|0 Comments

About the Author:

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.

Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

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