Monday, 23 August 2010

End Credits

Well lets keep this simple.

My dad has died.

I could write a book on the whole thing (the before, the during, the after so far) but then I could write a book on a lot of things. None of them particularly joyous events but yet gripping, entertaining and, at times, funny in that kind of hysterically dark 'if we didn't laugh we'd cry' way.

Anyway, if you follow this blog you could probably have guessed he had died, thus my absense. Let's face it - I wasn't likely to be away on a cruise round the Caribbean was I? (On any level). Or camping in a field somewhere. Or, erm, just having fun? Nooooooo.

That just wouldn't be the way it would run.

Anyway, I'm back, you can't get rid of me. Life so far has tried to sink me in a multitude of forms, but yet, it hasn't yet pushed me to the depths from which I can not rise back up and wrestle it to the ground. Like a giant squid. Or Jaws (before he bit into an underground electric gable and died with smoke pouring from his fibreglass eyes).

Anyway he died last week, the funeral is Friday. I've been to Matalan and bought my frock. I tried to go to John Lewis but, on leaving the M5, got caught up in a series of mini-roundabouts, signs asking me to decide between 'The Mall, The Venue, The Retail Park and The Super-Retail Park' and, to cut a long, traumatic and expletive strewn story short, ended back on the motorway going in the wrong direction. At that point I gave up and decided I'd been out of the Big Smoke long enough to truly start to sweat once I pass Weston-Super-Mare.

How do you fill a hole this big? Well you can't. For the moment the panther that is this grief walks beside me. I know that he is there and sometimes we fix eachother with our stares, but for now I walk with his stride. I do not let him overtake me so that he can turn back and stop me in my tracks. I do not let him fall behind so that he can push me to the ground. I match his stride, I listen to his breath and I wonder. About it all. But I do not let him take me. Yet.

So many of our memories of my dad are now taken up with the last few months. And these are not what he was. So the most important thing that people can do for the moment is help us all remember who he REALLY was. The real man.

The vicar is trying to put together 'some words' to summarise my dad on Friday.

How long has she got?

My mum wondered if she'd like to tell the story about the 'left-behind darning needle' and his left testicle but we decided that was, perhaps, a bit too much for the vicar, however 'Vicar of Dibley-Stylee' she may be.

If you think my life is random, if you think I can tell a good story......Well you never met my dad. He always wanted to write a book but he never got there. He never even got to retirement age.

Today, during a rather dark afternoon, I got an email from his old work colleagues, passing on some stories for the vicar to retell. This one just about sums him up. As I said, the apple doesn't fall from the tree...........

Dad (or Doug as he is in this), this one's for you:

Doug had gone to New Zealand via the USA in Boston and Russ met him in Auckland.

He was exhausted and really grumpy as his luggage had not turned up and all he was left with was the clothes he was standing in.

They had to fly down to Christchurch for a meeting so couldn’t wait around and Russ told him that the luggage would have to catch him up.

In Christchurch they found a large man's shop (Doug was 6' 7" and over 25 stone) and got him ashirt and trousers but the boxer shorts were way too small so Russ told him he would need to wash the pair he was wearing every night and they should dry ok as it was summer.

He went to Doug’s room the following morning and as the door opened he could hear whoosh.....whoosh ..........whoosh. What on earth?

Well Doug had attached his damp boxers to the overhead cooling propeller type fan and put the thing on full speed!!!!. There were his pants, rotating round the hotel room ceiling at top speed whilst Doug checked his emails on the laptop. Russ collapsed in laugher whilst only being able to have visions of a large schooner in full sail. Doug however carried on as if this were perfectly normal behaviour for a man on the road who had to be adaptable.

Nuff said.


  1. Sending big hugs, My Grandad died last week and the funeral is Wednesday, still need to get my frock, I just cant face going shopping right now.

  2. You're in my thoughts tonight. I'm sure the last few months have been incredibly tough. I went through something similar with my mum. The good memories will overtake the recent ones in time. I hope you get plenty of great stories to tell. I've always loved your anecdotes about your Dad - he sounded like a wonderful character!

  3. Thanks people!

    Clare H - sorry about your Grandad - shopping is hard. I find 'other people' too much and very clastraphobic and you get overwhelmed and just have to sort of leave. You go to Asda for bread and milk and come home with a bra and some apples and have to try and explain yourself! Anyway - hope Wednesday goes as OK as it can do xxx

  4. So sorry to hear your news. Keep the good memories wtih you - sounds like you'll have many of them. (((hugs)))

  5. Wow. your Dad sounds like a wonderful Guy and from what we know of him through your stories so far, I feel as thought I know him a little and would have loved him a lot...... hope all goes to plan at the funeral, I send HUGS and good wishes to you all, What stories you have to tell your children of their Granddad when they are older.
    Tilly xx

  6. I'm so sorry to hear your news.

    My own Dad was taken away from us by cancer of the oesophagus - far too young - nearly five years ago, and although the initial pain of loss has abated, there is still a big gaping whole where he used to be. And maybe that's the way it should be - when larger than life people who are close to our hearts go, maybe we should not fill the void they leave.

    My thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time - and no matter what your own personal beliefs are, so long as you keep him alive in your heart, he will never be lost to you.

    And judging from your story of him, he would want you keep on living life to the full.

    As they say here in Greece "May you live to remember him".

  7. thank you Tilly and Noreen.

    She Means Well - that really does sum it up. He will live on through all of us. You can not fill the hole, nor should you try to.

    Thank you

  8. Sending you big big hugs sweetheart hope all goes well on Friday and RIP Doug xxx

  9. Yep went to Tesco for a pizza came home with 20 quid worth of cat biscuits in the small boxes, about 9 boxes..... never did get that pizza. Can only explain it as walking around in a daze, it will go away in about another week tho, well it did when Grandma died last year. Will be thinking of you on Friday, hope it goes well for you too.

  10. LOL! Well I said I couldn't cope with anymore and then some irresponsible numpty down the road dumped 2 kittens on us and now we appear to have, erm, 2 kittens.... I went to Asda earlier and spent about an hour examining different methods of feeding cats and I'm still no better off for it! Although I do find the good thing about cats is you can swear at them without the fear of them ever saying it back to you.....

  11. Huge hugs babe, thinking of you xxx.

  12. Thinking of you with gentle thoughts tonight. Hope you find moments of peace and the strength to let yourself be exactly as you need to be.
    x Michelle

  13. Hi lovey. Sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my Dad almost 10 years ago and blogged a bit about him not long ago. You think you are fine most of the time and then something catches you totally unaware and it overtakes you. May the good memories overtake the ones that you say are not him and I hope it goes as well as can be expected on Friday. Much love and hugs to you all. x

  14. Hello from a regular reader, or could that be blog stalker?!? So very sad to hear your news, its so unfair when the good ones are taken from us far too young. As has been said, your wonderful memories will keep your dear Dad alive forever in your heart. Big hugs for Friday and all the days that follow.
    Sue xxx

  15. Hello, I'm really sorry too to read about your Dad's untimely passing. I have every faith that as the cloud lifts a little, you'll remember more all those funny, poignant, embarrassing and otherwise stand-out moments about Doug - the memory of his life won't be defined by those final months alone. Good luck for Friday *hug to you and yours*

  16. I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's death, and I hope the eulogy tells of the man your Dad really was.

    In between the moments of grief I bet the children will have some priceless comments which will crack you up at the same time as crying, I know mine did when my Mum died.

  17. I am so, so sorry to hear your news. As others have said, the good memories will overtake the bad in time (I lost my Mum eight years ago). Your Dad will live on through your memories.
    Sending you gentle and loving hugs and sparkles for the strength you'll need for Friday.
    I'll be thinking of you.
    Sue xx

  18. I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. You have been in my thoughts.
    Sending lots of hugs for Friday and will be thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

  19. Having lost my Dad I understand that gaping hole sending huge hugs - dont expect to much of yourself or your Mum - hug lots, drink tea and eat cake whatever you need to do to get through the days - Your Dad sounds a Fabulous character and we are priviliged you have shared a little bit of him with us x time doesnt heal but it does get easier to bear xJanet x

  20. I am sorry to read your sad news, but you have many happy memories of your Dad.
    I admire you so much the way you bounce back.
    I enjoy reading your blog, you give me inspiration to cope with my worries here. OH has cancer and his treatment has been stopped. He has now decided to move, from Kent, to North of Scotland. Our Son and family live there, but it is a difficult decision for me to leave my roots. However, your blog helps me so much.
    Thankyou and take care xx

  21. So sorry to hear about your Dad. Take great care of yourself and those who loved him. The pain WILL ease but it probably won't feel like it is going to for a long time. Big hugs {{{}}}

  22. Lots of hugs. I hope Friday goes as well as these things can. xxx

  23. Thinking of you ((( )))

  24. Sorry to hear your news, our thoughts are with you

  25. lots of love to you all, everything else has already been said xx

  26. So sorry darling *higgies* sending you lots of love. Thinking of you all

    Lou xxx

  27. I'm so sorry, thinking of you and your family (hugs)

  28. So sorry, much love to you and your family at this very sad time.

  29. Sending you so much love at this time xxxx

  30. Hey, so sorry to hear the sad news. They don't get much bigger than Dad's, do they? (esp. yours by the sounds of him) and you're so right - the hole can't, and shouldn't ever be filled. Love the story about your dad's pants. These are the things we have to keep hold of (the stories, not the pants..) I decided to write my own dad's eulogy a few years ago - and the last part was a reference to the Shredded Wheat *buy one get one free* offers he insisted on continually buying. He always told me, as I watched them fill the top of every kitchen cupboard - that they'd last him a lifetime. And I still remember the little hum of laughter that filled the crematorium as I said 'he'd be glad he was right about that'.
    Many thoughts and much love x

  31. So sorry to hear your sad news. Will be thinking of you on Friday. (((Hugs)))

  32. Lots of love and thoughts from Down Under, where you have a new legion of friends. Thinking of you this week,

    Mrs Woog

  33. Just found you via Heather from Lapland's blog. What a great story about your dad (and his pants). I knew a guy who used to microwave his underwear dry, but your Dad's method is way better.

    The funny stories like that are what keeps you going through a time like this.

  34. I'm so sorry to hear your news. Your dad was a legend to people like me who never even met him. You've honoured him in his lifetime and you'll honour him in death. Even my dad, a big fan of your blog, often asks me how the man with the wrong chutney knife is. I'll be sad to tell him the news.

    Lots of love, Bex (Pancs) xxx

  35. Sounds like them little kittens have come at the right time, you cant help but feel better when you have a little ball of fur paddling away and purring.

    Yesterday was awful and I still didn't get a suitable frock, I looked awful but so did everyone else so I didn't feel so bad about not looking respectful. I feel better today after a good long sleep. I hope tomorrow goes smoothly for you, you will be in my thoughts.

  36. Thanks Bex - my dad lives on through his mad capers!

    ClareH - thanks for posting after your Grandad's funeral. Yes I am dreading tomorrow - dreading it. I just want it over but even then I wish I could just go away on my own somewhere for a while. Sigh.

    MrsWoog - thanks - I seem to have grown down under! (Errr in the nicest possible way!!).

  37. So sorry to hear your very sad news. Take care of yourself. xxx

  38. Hope everything went as well as it could today - was thinking of you. Take care and hope you managed a smile or two today remembering the things your dad did. xxx

  39. I'm so very sorry to read this. I hope the funeral passed off as well as can be expected today and brought you some comfort. Take care xxx

  40. It's just shit. There it is. It just is. I hope the funeral isn't too exhausting - sort of being the centre of attention at the worst possible time and the recipient of lots of greasy chicken-drumstick kisses is never anyone's idea of a day well-spent but after that's over you can then get on with feeling shit without being watched so much.

    The only solace I can ever find in a funeral is that at least the person you loved and lost doesn't have to sit through it themselves - but it's still shit.

    Keeping up the stories is good stuff. And keeps alive the memories you DO want to keep.

    Big love honey x (At least one stranger you don't have to pretend you remember and smile at today!)

  41. Hiya honey - so sorry to hear about your dad, hope the funeral was ok - coping with other people's grief when you need to cope with your own is a toughie. call me if you need to chat

    Val xxx

  42. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love your way *hugs*

  43. Best wishes to you and yours....

    Pants ahoy...