Last year, the footballer Cafú experienced one of the strongest pains a father can feel: the loss of his son. This is Danilo who suffered cardiac arrest during a soccer game in late 2019 at age 30.
Cafú had not disclosed details of this extremely difficult event until yesterday, the date on which he turned 50 and decided to tell it to the world. The former multi-champion with Brazil, Sao Pablo, Milan and Roma published a heartfelt letter in which he reviewed some happy moments in his career, but also the most difficult.
"On September 4, 2019, God took my son, Danilo Feliciano de Morais. He was only 30 years old. Some events in this world are inexplicable. There is no order or concert. I lost my son in my arms. I tried to save him and help him, but he left us, "he explains without turning around.
The former winger and two-time World champion added that "it was, and is, a feeling of emptiness; it's a terrible feeling. Sometimes we feel powerless. We feel so strong in our bodies and our minds, but at a time like that your physical strength doesn't mean anything. It doesn't help. When you can't save your own child, you feel incredibly weak. "
Here is the complete letter that Cafu shared:
Today I am 50 years old. A historic birthday, but it will be a very different celebration this year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, I will be away from many of those close to me. And after a year that I could never have imagined in my worst nightmare, I feel that today is a good time to talk and face the emotions of loss that we feel millions of us around the world.
We all have days in our lives that we will never forget. On our wedding day, the births of our children and for a lucky few: winning the World Cup for our country. Glorious memories that remain with us forever. But we also have days that we can never forget for other reasons; days that we cannot explain and moments of inexplicable tragedy that we cannot plan, avoid or prevent.
On September 4, 2019, God took my son, Danilo Feliciano de Morais. He was only 30 years old. Some events in this world are inexplicable. There is no order or concert. I lost my son in my arms. I tried to save him and help him, but he left us. It was, and is, a feeling of emptiness; it is a terrible feeling. Sometimes we feel powerless. We feel so strong in our bodies and our minds, but at a time like that your physical strength doesn't mean anything. It doesn't help. When you can't save your own child, you feel incredibly weak.
But God took him and I am sure he is fine where he is now. He watches over us and laughs from above at everything we do down here. I pray that no other parent experiences this heartbreak. A father should never have to bury his own son.
Until today, I have not spoken publicly about this tragic incident and, although I do not intend to go into detail about the events of that day or the immediate days, weeks and months after his death, I think it is the right time. to speak certain things. I feel this way, as many millions of other people around the world, and increasingly in my beloved Brazil, suffer similar feelings of sudden loss. I want to relate and share. I want to use this letter to talk about how my family and I have drawn strength from each other during very difficult times. I want to share how our passions, including sports, are helping us to recover.
However, before continuing, as this is the first time that I have spoken directly about my son's passing, I must thank the thousands of people who contacted me for sending me their thoughts and prayers. Words cannot express how much this meant to me and my family at the time, and from the bottom of my heart I thank each and every one of you who helped us get through it.
I mention my family as now, with this pandemic spreading in all corners of the world, I am sure that those who are locked up spend more and more time than ever with their loved ones. And I am sure that those who are isolated from their loved ones think and miss their families more than ever. It leads me to think about the strength and support I got from my family after Danilo passed away. My family is big. I am one of six brothers. But not only at that moment did I draw strength from them, but now, in the current crisis, the family is the pillar of everything. We renew our strengths every day together, so that we can overcome that pain and look to the future together
The pain of losing a loved one is always present. However, we should always try to remember something positive. When I think of Danilo, I remember that what he enjoyed the most was playing pranks on people. So when I feel the pain of losing it, I always try to remember these good things and smile. This is how we end up managing your loss in a more positive way.
And once again, while the confinement continues here in Brazil, and in many other parts of the world, I am using this time to spend even more moments with people close to me. I am training every day, I am training them every day: it has become a daily family activity and it is a lot of fun. People will know me from my public personality as a positive and happy guy who is always smiling. I like to think that it is a precise interpretation of my character, even far from the public focus. As such, I always try to find the positive in everything, even in this nightmare pandemic, we can see the extra time that we have been given with our families. For me personally, it is certainly a blessing, because I generally travel so much that I am often far from home and far from my loved ones. Now, due to this negative, a positive situation has come. Of course, I miss the contact with the general public. Nothing gives me more joy than meeting people for the first time and talking to them about soccer.
I have also worked extensively in recent months with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and the Legacy of Qatar, the organizers of the 2022 World Cup, for whom I am a world ambassador. My work with them, and their Generation Amazing program, has brought me in contact with hundreds of young soccer fans from all over the world, and before this closing it gave me the opportunity to participate in training sessions with them. Together with my fellow ambassadors, Xavi, Samuel Eto’o and Tim Cahill, we can see the joy on the faces of these children when we arrive and play a game with them. That kind of thing, I miss a lot. I know that the program has been running many online sessions to reach trapped children at home. This is admirable and a great innovation during this time. But I am sure that we will all agree that seeing the joy on the faces of children first hand, when they play soccer, is irreplaceable. It is what gives me the most joy, and it is one of the things I miss the most.