Thoughts on losing my Father

Life and loss

You may, (or may not), have noticed that I’ve been missing in action in the blogosphere recently. I haven’t blogged, I haven’t read many blogs, I haven’t commented or interacted, I haven’t shared or participated in any group threads and you know what, I make no apologies for my absence.

Sometimes life, or in this case, death, happens and it rocks your world off its regular axis.

You see my beloved father passed away last week, on Thursday 25 January 2018. He was 79 years old, a husband, a father, a grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, son…and he had a great life that was over far too soon.

We’d been called to Dad’s bedside over a week earlier, as he was gravely ill. Dad has suffered from Parkinson’s Disease since 2009 and had been in an Aged Care facility for almost 18 months. Palliative care meant that we sat with Dad, we made him comfortable, played his favourite music, held his hand and talked to him – in between just ‘being’ with him.  Sometimes I couldn’t physically talk so I went into my memories and talked to him there.

Holding hands with my father

We reminisced, we shared our favourite stories and we thought our own thoughts,  while we watched and waited.

The staff were amazing, so caring and thoughtful.  Meals, cups of tea, cake, a kind word, a welcome hug, a shoulder to cry on – nothing was too much trouble.

Sucked into a vacuum of exhaustion

It feels like you’re sucked into a void, a vacuum of exhaustion, a constant loop of memories and thoughts swirling around in your head.

You appreciate any distraction but can’t concentrate for too long on a task.  The tennis (or cricket) on TV has been a lifesaver as you can mindlessly lose yourself in the backwards and forwards action of a coloured ball being whacked unmercifully around a court.

You talk, you interact, you plan, you think, you remember, you somehow function and you grieve while doing all these things.

Every day for over a week we visited Dad, taking it in turns to be with him.  My sister even stayed with him one night and my brother made early morning visits telling dad of the great surf he’d had, the pod of dolphins that swam nearby, the beach conditions, the sunrise…

Throughout it all Dad was peaceful, calm and painfree – as Mum said, it was us who were feeling the pain.

On the day he left us I went for a bike ride with my husband and nephew, along the beaches of Dad’s youth.  We visited his old surf life saving club and pictured him competing in his early days, he was a champion surf lifesaver and swimmer. He was a hero to his sisters and taught us to swim, surf and enjoy the water. It was a glorious summer’s day and we enjoyed feeling the warm sunshine on our shoulders, the wind in our hair and the visions of Dad on these same beaches.

Later that afternoon he passed away. Point Danger was a favourite haunt of Dad’s so it made sense to gather there together to watch the sunset and to say our farewells.

Life will never be the same again: I have lost my father.

Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad. (Anne Geddes)

He was a very special man, gentle, softly spoken, kind, thoughtful, caring, adventurous, talented, clever and witty. Above all else he was a fun person to be around who will be sorely missed by all who knew him. I wrote this post just last year about the Layers of Life and I am reminded again of the fragility of life.

Some of the faces of Dad

He helped make me the person I am today and for that I am forever grateful.

Love is stronger than death even though we can’t stop death from happening. But no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love.  It can’t take away our memories either.  In the end, life is stronger than death.  Anonymous

I will return to blogging eventually as it is something I enjoy.  I have been overwhelmed with the kind thoughts, the messages, the heartfelt condolences and the love of family and friends. Thank you one and all for your sympathy. We are taking good care of each other.

Family portrait from 1977

Rest in Peace Dad. (March 1938- January 2018)

Deb xx

You can also find Deb’s World here – let’s stay in touch!

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  One thought on “Thoughts on losing my Father

  1. January 28, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    So sorry to hear, Deb. Let alone to lose your dad but to Parkinson’s. I lost a dad-in-law to it many years ago, so hard to watch. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man and father.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:55 am

      Thanks for your comment on my post. I’m sorry you also have had this experience. Dad was a wonderful adventurer.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. January 28, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    He sounds like he was a great Dad and I am sure he gave you your sense of fun. Now you and your sister must put your writing skills together to write a great eulogy.Make sure you take time away from the blog.We’ll all be here when you get back. Thinking of you. Louise x

    Liked by 2 people

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:56 am

      Thanks Louise, I like to think I got some if Dad’s sense of humour. Don’t worry Sharon and I are onto it!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2018 at 8:15 am

        That was a lovely photo of him on the Facebook post with the funeral details.

        Liked by 1 person

        • February 1, 2018 at 8:24 am

          Yes it’s a beautiful photo isn’t it Louise? It was taken at mum and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary celebrations a few years ago before Parkinson’s set in.


  3. January 28, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Oh Deb, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Take care during this time, spend moments remembering, crying and laughing over him and the impact he has over your life.
    You have been missed here, and I for one, look forward to your return to blogging ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:58 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am doing all you say, sometimes all at once – laughing and crying at the same time! Looking through old photos has been so much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. January 28, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss Deb. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man, and you must all be grieving deeply.It is good that so many members of the family were able to be with him in his last days: I know from experience that there is a very strong need for the comfort of familiar faces, family rituals and even shared jokes when we’re experiencing such pain. Kia Kaha my friend

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Thanks so much Su, it’s a hard time that’s for sure! Looking back at stories, photos and memories is helping us all. My daughters arrive today so I’m looking forward to having them with me. They’re grieving too. X

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2018 at 7:17 am

        I’m glad your daughters are there. You will all need each other. Thinking of you.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. January 28, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    So sorry Debs…a piece of us goes with our dads…But I am sure you will remember the love and laughter for many, many years and he will live on through you and your memories…Take care and give yourself time to grieve Hugs xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Thanks Carol, you are right a piece of us goes with them. We are remembering the fun times of his life with photos and stories and laughing through our tears.

      Liked by 1 person

      • February 1, 2018 at 11:38 am

        That is the best way..early days and it doesn’t better we just learn how to cope better. I miss my dad more the longer it is but I suppose that id because the finality sets in and that takes a while… But I am pleased you are remebering happy through tears…I am blubbing now as I type..Not sad just remembering…Have a lovely day Debs 🙂


  6. cherylking55
    January 28, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I have tear sin my eyes, as I can relate to your pain and loss. I too lost a wonderful father two years ago. Take care and find consolation with those around you who also loved him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 7:03 am

      Thanks Cheryl, I’m sorry for your loss too. We are remembering dad with each other through stories and photos. It’s sad but it’s also fun to remember.


  7. January 28, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    So sorry to hear about your dad. My dad has been gone for 10 years now & I’d love to say it gets easier but I’d be lying. You never stop grieving for the man that was your father, your dad xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. January 28, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    So sorry for your loss. No words of mine will make it easier for you but I understand your pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 9, 2018 at 10:39 am

      You are so right Jenny, finding words to say is very hard but I truly appreciate your thoughtful comment and understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. January 28, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    So to hear your sad news. Your post is beautiful. Jx

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

      Thanks so much Jill, I’m glad you found my post moving, although I don’t know how I managed to get words out at the time. x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. January 28, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Your memories are so beautiful and so precious. Take all the time you need to grieve. He sounded like a wonderful man. May he rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

      We are indeed lucky to have so many fun memories of him and yes he was a wonderful man. He is now at peace.


  11. January 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Our thoughts are with you and your family. I’m glad you have the happy memories to cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 9, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Many thanks for your kind thoughts at this sad time. We had a few laughs going through all the photos and sharing stories. It was lovely to have so many family members with us.


  12. January 28, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    So sorry for your loss, your father sounds like he was a good dad. I lost my father a 1,5 years ago and can recognize a lot from what you write. Your post was beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 9, 2018 at 10:33 am

      Thanks, I’m sorry to hear you have also been through this awful time. I feel for you too. x


  13. January 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Mum this is such a wonderful post about one of the best men in the world. His lessons to you have been passed down to us and hopefully will continue to be a legacy to our children. My life has been all the better for having him in it. He was the best of men and I’m so honoured I could call him my grandad. Sending you all so much love and I’ll be there soon xx

    Liked by 5 people

  14. rachaelstray
    January 28, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    A truly heartbreaking but touching tribute to your dad. He sounds like an amazing man who had a wonderful life lived to the full. My sincere condolences to your whole family Debs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      Your kindness is much appreciated Rachael. He was a great father, role model and lovely person who lived a full and happy life. For that I am grateful xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. January 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    My sincere condolences Debbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. January 28, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Hugs! I don’t have words right now that could comfort you. Parents and their death is something I’m very scared of. It’s inevitable but one of those things I can’t bring myself to accept that it will hit me. Take your time and Come back when you feel like. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Many thanks for your support and words of comfort, even though you say you don’t have the words. Your comment has been much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. January 28, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    I’m so, so sorry to hear your news Debbie. Despite it being about your Father’s parting, it is a lovely post that I actually found very peaceful to read. Not to mention moving. It sounded like his last week with you was very peaceful and that’s all any one of us can wish for for ourselves. I loved the quotes that you used too. They are so very true. And your Father will indeed live on through your thoughts, memories and everything he taught you. Much love Debbie. Take care xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m glad the peacefulness came across and that you enjoyed reading it. Dad will be forever in my memories and a part of my life. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness Hayley. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 30, 2018 at 12:22 am

        I do hope you have lots of moments of peace yourself over this difficult period. All the best xx

        Liked by 1 person

  18. January 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    very very tough, Deb. There’s no easy words, not now but memories help. I have found that blogging about my parents, now they have both died helps retain a sense of them and reinforces memories. Whether it does for you, or not, I’m sure you’ll find a way to keep them alive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:21 pm

      Yes it is very tough! Memories are wonderful things to have and like you, I’ll be blogging about dad in years to come. Thank you for your understanding and support.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. January 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    Deb, I’m so sorry and thinking of you all. You’ll still be able to talk to him in your memories, like you say. He’ll be with you always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:20 pm

      Thanks Lorna, I agree with you. I can still talk to dad and he’ll always be there in my heart.


  20. January 28, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I’m so sorry to read this. My dad died almost three years ago, it’s tough I know. Thinking of you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      Thank you Anabel, I’m sorry you’ve also been through this awful period of time too. It certainly is tough!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. January 28, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    My condolences to you and your family, Deb. Give yourself as much time as you need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks Tom, I’ll be back after some time away. I really miss my lovely community of bloggers.


  22. January 29, 2018 at 12:01 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you and your family.
    I find it ironic that we are writers and yet words don’t have a lot of meaning during these terrible times; people tell us sorry, etc. but the loss, the emptiness, the exhaustion, the what ifs are all personal, within, in a place words can’t touch, not yet. Hugs, Deb and know, we’ll all be here whenever you need us. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you! You sum it up so well – the exhaustion, emptiness and words people say. It’s so hard at times to know what to say and how to respond. Thanks heaps for the hugs and understanding xx


  23. January 29, 2018 at 12:40 am

    I am sorry you have lost your dad I send my love to you and yours it is so hard now but it will get easier 🌹💜

    Liked by 1 person

  24. January 29, 2018 at 1:15 am

    My goodness, I am so, so, sorry. There is nothing like the pain of losing a parent. It just sucks. There is no other word to describe it but that it sucks. You may already know this but I would recommend looking for a grief support group, like at a church. I lost my father when I was 26 to an epileptic seizure. I think I got through it by attending this group. It’s perfectly acceptable to cry your eyes out there. They also provided me with a skinny book that walked me through the steps of grieving for better understanding. I am so sorry for you and your family. I will say a little prayer for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      I feel for you losing your father at such a young age! You’re right it just sucks!! Thank you for your suggestions and your understanding. x

      Liked by 1 person

  25. January 29, 2018 at 1:53 am

    Your beautiful tribute brought tears to my eyes. The commitment you had to your dad, and your dad’s commitment to you and your family, is evident in every word of this post. I’m so sorry he’s gone. I’m sorry for your loss. You have provided a perfect offering to his memory, though. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      Thank you for your lovely response to my post Angela. I’m so glad my words depict my feelings and get my message across. x

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Retirement Reflections
    January 29, 2018 at 2:54 am

    I have noticed your absence — you were greatly missed!
    Sending you and your family big, warm, virtual hugs. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks for noticing my absence Donna, I’ve missed you all but just have no energy for non essential things at the moment. I’ll be back soon and look forward to catching up with all my blogging buddies. Thanks for your sympathy. xx


  27. January 29, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Sincere and heartfelt sympathy Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:09 pm

      Thanks Jodi, it’s not an easy time but I’m glad I collected my thoughts at this moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. January 29, 2018 at 4:07 am

    I’m so sorry your loss, Deb. Your post is beautifully written and such a lovely tribute. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. January 29, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Deb, at such a difficult time – emotions are still so raw, and I imagine that you are all a bit numb. My time in palliative care taught me that no one can ever be truly prepared for the loss of a parent at any age. A beautiful tribute – may you be able to look back soon and remember with more smiles and less tears xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      Thank you Claire, your comments are very comforting at this sad time. We are all still raw as you say and I’m glad I wrote my thoughts at this time. We are currently looking through photos and laughing and crying at the memories. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  30. January 29, 2018 at 5:03 am

    Aww, so sorry to read about the passing of your dear father. Mine is just two years older and doing well, trotting around his horse property in the Sierra Nevada foothills every day, with his mild COPD. But what if?? That day will come and I hope I can handle it with the grace and devotion you shared in your post. I love how God touched you with allowing you to go for a ride to the beach and your dad passed that afternoon. Your dad knew you were ready to let him go and he went in peace. My mother had been in palliative care for several years, and although she is just 77 her end may come more quickly than my father’s. Either way, losing our parents, ready of not, is sad, difficult and full of grief. My prayers for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you Terri for your lovely comment. Losing a parent is very difficult no matter our age. I like to think dad knew we’d been to the beach and had him our thoughts before he left us that day. All the best to you and your parents for many more years doing the things they love to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. January 29, 2018 at 5:50 am

    I’m so sorry Deb. I know the pain of losing a father after an illness. It is so comforting to have your family around you during this time. Hugs and prayers for you Deb. I’ll be thinking about you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      I appreciate your comments Jennifer and I’m sorry you’ve been down this road too by the sounds of things. It’s very hard but we’ll be fine.


  32. January 29, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Thinking of you Deb and all your family, Kia Kaha xx

    Liked by 1 person

  33. January 29, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    So sorry to hear this news. Thoughts to you and all the family, Debbie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 29, 2018 at 11:00 pm

      Thanks so much Ruth for your kind thoughts. We’re coping ok but I must admit it is exhausting just doing every day things. Planning the funeral isn’t easy either.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. January 30, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Life is very fragile indeed. Very touching post Deb. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Ivy
    January 30, 2018 at 8:12 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. The love that you have for your father is beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. January 30, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so sorry to read this, Deb. Thinking of you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:49 am

      Thanks Natalie. The family are starting to roll in for the funeral so it’s good to have them all with us. X


  37. February 1, 2018 at 12:19 am

    So sorry to hear about your loss, Deb. Having recently lost my wonderful stepfather, I feel for your pain. I was in New Hampshire helping my mom for two weeks this month after he passed away and it really is surreal. Like we’re in a vacuum, as you say. Sounds like your father was a lovely man. My condolences to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Hi Carrie, thanks for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through this recently too. It’s hard to continue with a normal life at this time and I wonder when I’ll be out of the vacuum, maybe once I return home it will be different. Thanks again. X

      Liked by 1 person

  38. February 1, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Such sad times for you all. I feel your pain Deb. Take care, all the best tomorrow and hold tight to those memories. Thinking of you xo 💖🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  39. February 5, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Im so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. xxx thinking of you at this time. (yes I have only just met you but reading this made me feel we have known each other for a long time)

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 6, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment and your condolences. I’m happy to know you through the blogging world and that you got a sense of me, and dad, through my post. I really appreciate hearing from you x

      Liked by 1 person

  40. mrsluvit02
    February 15, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    That was a beautiful tribute to your dad and the pain of parting is deep, yet you have much that can never be taken from you. Beautiful, beautiful memories. How is your mum doing?
    Love and kind regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Thank you Kathleen for your kind words and ongoing support. Mum is going ok, she has friends looking out for her and is coping ok so far. It will be a long road for us all but we have lovely memories of dad.


  41. February 23, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Deb my heartfelt condolences. Having walked this path with my own Dad and Father in law it brings memories flooding back. Such a gift for your Dad and for you to have those days together as heart wrenching as they were. Sending huge hugs across the miles.
    Sue xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 26, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Than you Sue, your comment means a lot to me. It’s been very hard but all the lovely thoughts from friends have helped. 🙂


  42. February 23, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Very sorry to read about losing your Dad x

    Liked by 1 person

  43. April 12, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    I am sorry for your loss.Find strength in pain.I am trying to create awareness on palliative care,pass by.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. April 13, 2018 at 2:51 am

    Am sorry for your loss
    I appreciate the role of palliative care.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. May 27, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Thank you Deb, beautifully written. I, too, lost my Dad last week, and your post was very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 27, 2018 at 8:17 am

      I’m so sorry to hear that Robin, it’s a hard time. I’m glad my post was helpful in some way. All the best to you and take care of yourself in the coming weeks.


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