The Odyssey comes to a sad end, in more ways than one

The End

Was I too smug? 

Just days before The Odyssey was due to end we were lunching with old friends and I was sprouting off about how well we’d managed our three months travelling around Europe together.

I do like to look at the positives and take credit for a job well done.

No missed flights, no muggings, no lost property, no sickness, no real dramas, no massive fights….

Just fantastic summer weather, great fun, beautiful sights, amazingly generous friends, quality family time with our daughter and her partner – all in all it was pretty much the perfect holiday. How well had I managed it all?

Yes, I admit I was feeling pretty smug. As an experiment to see how we could handle travelling together for a good length of time, we’d done brilliantly.

The saddest news

Until that awful phone call on our second last morning in the UK….our poor daughter back home in Australia had the worst job of all – she had to tell us some exceptionally sad news.

My father in law had passed away at home earlier that day, suddenly and unexpectedly.

We were, and still are, completely devastated. We were due to fly home the next night so we spent the time in constant contact with family back home and letting the tears flow. Thankfully we were with our eldest daughter.

We wanted it to be a bad dream but it wasn’t – it was very real.

It’s a long way to Australia at the best of times but when you want to get there quickly, it seems even further away.  Just ask my daughter who has had to make this long flight home twice before in similar circumstances  – for her uncle’s funeral four years ago and more recently my father’s funeral in January this year.

It was hard but we managed to do it, arriving home to a freezing cold winter’s day.

Maybe it was more than just the cold weather, but we’ve been home for a few days now and I just can’t get warm.

My daughters have now lost both their gorgeous grandfathers in the space of a few months.

And I’ve lost my ‘bookends’.

family photo on our wedding day
family photo

This special photo shows quite clearly the two amazing ‘bookends’ in my life. They were always there for me. Sadly both have now been taken away, and within a few short months of each other 😢 . What fun times we had together and how lucky we were to have had them in our lives. (Facebook post)

My thoughts turn to my mother in law who has lost her best friend, my sister in law who had to deal with things until we could get home to help, my daughters who are devastated at the loss of their cheeky grandpa, my other sister in law helping in so many ways, together with our niece and nephew who are mourning another loss in their short lives.

My husband who lost his younger brother just a few years ago, has now also lost his father. It’s simply not fair sometimes.

The Odyssey is over

We were almost home.  We were so looking forward to telling Les our stories, sharing the photos and seeing his face light up at our enjoyment.  But it wasn’t to be, instead we flew home to sadness.  We’ll still tell the stories but it just won’t be the same.

He was a very special man, always happy and smiling despite what life threw at him.  Everyone loved him. He loved his family and we loved him. We have great memories and they will sustain us in the coming days and weeks. I found this quote today and have taken strength from it, it sums up what life is all about – the good bits and the sad bits.

Life quote
Life quote

It just seems that I am back where I was in January, as we mourned the loss of my father. Celebrating life is important and we must treasure the good times and not so good times.

Family photos
Family photos

Our family is hanging in there, we’re starting to gather for our final farewell and will celebrate Les’s life together as he would have wanted us to. We’ll look out for each other.

Moving on

This morning I went to the beach and sat quietly watching the water, the winter sun warming my face, and quelled the thoughts running through my head.  I’ve been quite sick since we’ve been back and am only now starting to feel a bit like myself again. The sea can be a soothing place to sit and reflect.  I realised I had company, in the form of a seal and it seems we were both quite content to sit and watch the world go by.  I wonder what he was thinking?

We are thankful for our wonderful Odyssey, we know we’re very lucky to do what we did for three months and we’re naturally sad it has ended. We’re still not even technically home yet, but we’re where we have to be and that’s here with family.

But we’re even sadder to have to say goodbye to an absolute legend this way.

I’m not feeling smug anymore, I’m feeling sad and still in shock that Les has gone. I will be back blogging again soon but there’s other more important stuff to do first.

Thanks to everyone who has been following our odyssey, it’s been great to have you along for the ride.  I have more stories to tell.

Deb xx

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A sad end to an amazing odyssey

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64 Replies to “The Odyssey comes to a sad end, in more ways than one”

  1. Oh Deb, my heart goes out to you. Life can be so unfair can’t it. One minute we’re having the time of our life and the next it feels like it’s been ripped from us. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your father in law sounds like a special man, hold onto those precious memories. Sending you big hugs, much love and the strength to get through this sad time. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Miriam, I really appreciate your words and hugs. It’s felt just like that, one minute being on top of the world and then wham. We know it could have been far worse. It’s lovely having our daughters around us and finally today I feel a bit warm. xx

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That life quote is spot on. I have lately thought about the amazing and the mundane and which one is more important. Sorry for the loss of your bookends. I know with time it smooths the rough edges but still it changes your life forever. Bernie

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Deb – such a huge swing of the pendulum of life – from a fantastic 3 months to a terrible loss. I’m sorry for you all at this sad time, but I know you will support each other and get through it and I hope that the memories of how he invested into his family gradually soothe your souls xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, your comment is lovely and we’ve had a nice day celebrating his life today. Everyone spoke highly of him and his legacy. He certainly left the world a better place.


  3. I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
    You were not being smug, you were being happy and proud of a great trip with family.
    I am so sorry you were not able to share all of this with your father in law, but so happy that you and your family had this amazing odyssey together. Life is so unfair at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So very sorry to hear about your sad loss Debs. Life isn’t at all fair sometimes is it? I’m sure that your father-in-law was unbelievably proud of all of you and loved your whole Odyssey adventure. The important thing is that you are all together at this sad time supporting each other. Remember the laughter and the good times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry for your loss Deb and Grant. I ran into Ruby, Carol and your girls in town yesterday, they are amazing people! So supportive of each other at this very difficult time and still so very generous of their time when really they must be doing it tuff, they come from a lovely and resilient family, that is obvious. We know only too well how it feels to experience such loss, too much too soon. Thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family as you walk side by side in gentle support of each other at this time. xox


  6. Oh Deb, I really feel for you, Grant and the whole family at this very sad time.
    Loss is very difficult difficult to deal with especially when it happens so suddenly.
    Take all the time you need to grieve but always keep all those precious memories tucked in your heart.
    Love and prayers to you all.xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kaylene, we really appreciate your kind words. I think the shock if it has hit us hard and being away made it difficult too. The funeral today was a lovely celebration of Les’s life and we have many happy memories to share. xx


  7. I’m so so sorry Deb. Life throws hard blows and often from dizzying heights when we are at our most happy. This must be a tough time for you and your family and my heart goes out to you. Losing your bookends really put things into perspective – I know just what you mean. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Jo, you’ve summed it up well. One minute we were happy as larks and the next lower than low. We’ll recover but at the moment it’s very hard. Really appreciate your comment. X


  8. Such very sad news for you and your family and as echoed by the comments above, life really can be unfair – one minute you’re on cloud nine and the next minute with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Thought are with you at this sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you Victoria, it’s been hard coming home to this sadness but we’ll improve over time. The odyssey was an amazing tune for us both and I don’t want it to be remembered because of the way it ended.


  9. So sorry Deb. My heart sank when I heard…and at the end of such an incredible 3 month adventure.
    Keeping you, Grant in particular, and the girls in my prayers.
    Jan x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve loved following your Odyssey Deb but feel very sad for you that it had to end this way. My Dad passed away when I was walking the Camino de Santiago so I know exactly how you’re feeling. Do take care. We will all be here when you feel ready to get back blogging x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennifer, I really appreciate your lovely comment. I’m sorry to hear you had a similar experience while travelling, it’s a hard time especially after losing my dad earlier in the year. But that’s life I suppose! I’m trying to think of all the good things we did on our trip and not having it defined by the way it ended but it’s easier said than done! I’m on my way back to blogging and will take it slowly. 😊x

      Liked by 1 person

  11. How unfortunate when tings were going so well, its almost as if he knew he would leave while every one was happy, and that is his memory to keep. You and your family are lucky to know and love him many in this world did not have that privilege. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lovely way of looking at things – thanks Ellen for your insights. When you’re do involved it’s hard to see things from any other perspective. Much appreciated and you’re so right. X


    1. Thank you, it’s been quite a hard few weeks since returning home but the baby shower and house warming has helped a lot! You’re right the more we loved them the more it seems to hurt. I appreciate your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for your understanding. It’s been quite hard to come home and I’ve been sick ever since we returned , I think it’s all the stress. The trip was amazing and I have to remember that. We are getting by and I’m reading a good book about coping with grief, which is helping more than I thought it would. Thanks again for your comment, it’s much appreciated!


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