Musings, Poetry

Goodbye, Dad

Three days at your hospital bedside
We looked outside at rainy days passing by
Music and memories prompted emotions to be high
A deep sadness covered us like a sodden blanket
Unwanted and heavy.

For a few hours, it was just you and me
Serenaded by Neil Diamond’s craggy bass-baritone
Carrying sadness to a new level
Proceeding to let go of any regrets.
What were you thinking, Dad?

Not one for sitting around idling time away
A high achiever was you
Whether work or play, you gave it your best
Travel, tramping, golf or all
Every day was an adventure if you had your way.

Age was not a barrier
At 75, there you were,
Flying high in the sky via a parachute
For the second time
Memories we will treasure.

Your final years were hard on you
Lost between two worlds
Glimpses of a carefree lad and a tormented man.
We hope happy times outweighed the sad.
Throughout life, your sense of humour prevailed.

Would you be saying to us now, remember when?
We think you would as there were good times
Some of the best.
Interspersed with opposing moments when we clashed
Never seeing grey, just black and white.

Now’s the time to start your motorbike, Dad
Time to say goodbye
Hand on throttle
The engine roared, shattering the silence.
Riding off at dawn with the sun on your back.

When the stars shine bright, you are there
When the rain comes as if to prompt tears
Or the sun shines, we shall reminisce.
For you will always be remembered.
Ride high, Dad, amongst those clouds in the sky.

Dad 3.5 years
Dad on the far right, with his parents and siblings
Dad is on the far left, and Diana, his sister-in-law, and our Aunty on the far right passed away in the same week as Dad, both in their late 80s
Dad aged in his 40s with two of my brothers. As a lad, Dad loved riding his motorbike around Gisborne – this image was taken at an old family friend’s brother’s farm near Opotiki.
Dad, with a smile, ready to hop into the plane and fly between the clouds

45 thoughts on “Goodbye, Dad”

  1. What a beautiful eulogy. This resonated deeply. I lost my Dad too a couple of months ago. It’s still sinking in, but all those memories and influence become part of who we are, so our fathers live on in us, in everything with think and do, and every significant decision we make. In that sense, they are always with us.

    Thoughts are with you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Sarah. Pleased you think it is a perfect tribute. I will be sharing it at Dad’s Memorial service tomorrow morning. Let’s hope I get through it. I wouldn’t say I like speaking to a crowd, though I’m in good company as many of us aren’t natural speakers.

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      1. I hope it goes well. I spoke at my father’s funeral too (and mother’s) and although I was very used to public speaking in my career, that just isn’t the same. But everyone there will be empathising and willing you on 🤗

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  2. Suzanne, sending you my condolences on the death of your father, and your Aunt too. He looks like a bit of a larrikin in those photos. Perhaps the photo of him at three set the tone for the years ahead. You know how some people wear shorts no matter how cold it gets? The end of an era.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Tracy. Yes, I know a few people who wear shorts and a T-Shirt when I’m wrapped up in more layers than a sausage roll. Dad was certainly a character and enjoyed a debate or two.

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  3. I’m so sorry to read this Suz, but what a lovely tribute to your dad you’ve shared with us. It’s also very sad that you’ve lost other relatives at the same time. Thinking of you. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Jude. Tomorrow we will be sharing more stories about Dad at his service. Sadly his brother couldn’t be there after losing his wife in the same week. It’s been an extremely tough week for him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Such a traumatic time Suzanne. When my dad died it was almost a relief (I know that sounds really bad, but he was never the same after my mum died) and I’m not sure I ever really grieved for him. Death affects us in so many different ways.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No it doesn’t sound bad as I do understand what you mean. Grief certainly does affect us all differently. I don’t think anyone should judge someone regarding their way of grieving. Losing a life partner is a big thing and many elderly deteriorate faster.

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          1. He wasn’t used to living on his own, from living at home to the RAF during WWII then married for 50 years. I was so busy with my own family and work at that time I never realised that he could have been lonely.

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            1. Perhaps he knew you were busy bring a parent and wife that your Dad understood by not being demanding. It’s near impossible keeping everyone happy. Us women always try and many burn out doing so.

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    1. Thanks very much, Jo. In many ways, it is a blessing, as the last few years were very tough on Dad, and he wouldn’t have liked to be sitting around wasting away. I have three brothers, Dad is still here 😉

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