Thoughts on losing my Father

Life and Loss

UPDATE: 25 January 2023

Today it’s 5 years since we lost Dad, and so much has happened in those years.

Although he may no longer be with us, he’s in our thoughts and in us – his adventurous spirit, sense of humour, his thinking processes, intelligence, stories, his own brand of fun, personality, good looks, and ultimately his love ❤️ So many memories to look back on, both happy and sad.

January 2018

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.

1960 with dad
1960 with dad

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 brother and sisters and he 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 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. 


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 in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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119 Replies to “Thoughts on losing my Father”

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

    1. 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

  4. 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

      1. 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 🙂


  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    1. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

    1. 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


  13. 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

  14. 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

    1. 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


  15. 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

    1. 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

  16. 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

    1. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

    1. 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

  19. 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

    1. 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.


  20. 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

  21. Lots of love and hugs to you Deb. You’re in my thoughts today. As you know, we lost our Dad’s very close to each other. My Dad passed away at 1:15am on 2 December 2017 – not long before your Dad who passed just over a month later on 25 January 2018. It’s been 5 years for us too. For Mum, the pain of grief gets worse with each passing year. I’ve been witness to her tears many times and it’s heartbreaking. For me, I have learned to live with the grief, but I have my moments where a bolt of intense pain hits me out of the blue and there are tears. As the saying goes, the price of love is grief and I am very grateful (as I’m sure you are) to have had the Dad I had and to have loved him, so I will endure the grief. Take care of yourself. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks Min, I always remember that we lost our fathers close together and share a common grief. I’m sorry to hear you mum’s pain of grief is increasing, my mum seems to be OK but tends to bottle things up a bit. Yes the price of love is indeed grief and I’m extremely grateful to have had my father for so long and that he was the best father he could be. Take care and thanks for your kind thoughts xx


  22. Hi Deb what a beautiful tribute to your Dad and although time passes they will always be in our hearts. This year my Dad would have been gone for 42 years – a month before Rachel was born. Time has flown and it really is almost a lifetime ago but there are still many memories and moments where he is in my thoughts. Thinking you, your Mum and family today. xx #WWandP

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Deb – I think deep grief is associated with deep love. I always have such envy for people who had caring supportive fathers – mine was never that. He passed away about 6 years ago and no tears were shed, and no anniversary is commemorated. So your dad was special indeed for you to still remember with love five years after his passing. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, i think you’re right it signifies a deep love and i know I’m lucky to have had my father. He wasn’t perfect but he was a good man and loved us all. I’m sorry your father wasn’t like that 😦


    1. Thanks Sammie, I can imagine your mum’s death is hitting you hard at various stages. You never stop thinking of them but you can’t simply ring them up and have a chat about what’s going on, it’s hard!


  24. Sucked into a vacuum is the perfect description. It’s a strange world where you start grieving before the actual loss, while still grateful for the time left. Lovely words on that pain that never quite goes away but can also be an intangible comfort at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I looked through the comments to see if I was following you then but I wasn’t (yet)….It is a good thing to write about grief and to share your experience. In watching my 99 yo Dad age (and age!) there is a grief in seeing him decline but he (and I suspect me and my bro) would be pleased to see him gently pass away. Still, we cannot forecast this and we live with the ‘what if, and when’….I would say I have been grieving more for my mum’s death over the past 2 years even though it’s been almost 16 years. Maybe it’s MY ageing that reminds me…am 9 years younger than Mum was when she died. Thank you for your post this week shared on Wednesday’s Words and Pics. I am grateful for your support. I hope to see you next week too. Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

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