With a heavy, heavy heart I return to my blog after my Dad passed away on the 28th April 2017.
My Dad, the strongest man I ever knew and with that the bravest, diagnosed with terminal Lung Cancer back in February 2015 he put up one big fight. You wouldn’t of known he was a Cancer patient and even after Chemo sessions, he still looked healthy and still doing his day to day thing as a retired man going to his allotment to plant his veg, and going to markets to sell his antiques. It made it quite easy to ignore and be in-denial about his Cancer.
However early this year he found out he also had Cancer in the Oesophagus which made him terribly sick, my poor father got to the stage where he couldn’t eat no more and had a stent fitted to try manage some pureed vegetables. It caused him so much pain to the point he was hunched over all day suffering.
Easter weekend he was so very ill, he refused to go into hospital initially as he wanted to be at home, but after the bank holiday weekend he accepted he needed to go in as he was dehydrated.
My Dad refused to consider the idea of a hospice and wanted to die at home, we thought this wouldn’t be for a while yet and he was just in hospital to get a a little better again.
Sadly ten days later my Dad passed away in hospital.
I will never forget the phone call from my Mum telling me he had 24 hours, I rushed to the hospital with my family and sat with my Dad until the early hours, the nurses had put him on a syringe driver so he was comfortable and sleeping. We still spoke to him just in case he could hear us. The doctor came round and said we could go home it was looking like Dad had a little more than 24 hours after all.
I stayed with my Mum and sister but we never got much sleep, we stayed up and talked about Dad in the silence of the night.
I couldn’t face going over in the morning, I was struggling with my emotions. My Mum had called me from the ward and said he had perked up. I told her I would go and see him the next day as I hadn’t seen my Son and needed to be around him and give him the bad news as best as I could. Sadly I never got the next day with my Dad, my Mum called me in around 6am on the morning to tell me he had passed away in the night. I laid there in utter shock, although we knew it was going to happen, I still couldn’t get my head round it. My partner made me a coffee and just stared into space and then shot off to my mums.
My family and I sat together in tears not really knowing what to do, we all wanted to see my Dad which the hospital was arranging for us.
After a couple of hours my sons school called. My niece is in the same class as my son and she knew but I hadn’t told my son as was waiting until after school. The teachers were so kind they didn’t want him hearing the news from another child in the class so they asked if I could go down to the school and of course I did. The class were due to go to church but the teacher stayed behind with my son. I broke the news to him and he was very tearful, afterwards he went off to church and him and my niece stayed behind with the vicar to say a prayer for their Grandad.
I felt sick on my way to the Mortuary, but had to stay strong for my Mum, we all went in together and I stayed back, it is a sight that will be engraved in my mind.
I wanted to say my goodbyes to my Daddy on my own so waited for my family to say their goodbyes and took a deep breath and walked over to my Dad. I kind of studied him before I spoke, to take in how peaceful he looked. And then it hit me my Dad was gone, no matter how many times I cried Dad he didn’t respond.
I shook him a little and pleaded him to wake up, I just wanted a response.
I did get into a state as I told him that I loved him, thanked him for everything he had done for me and for all the memories we had that I will cherish forever.
I gave him a kiss on the forehead and stroke his hair and scruffed it up a bit. My Dad was always scruffy, always had paint on his hands, the evidence of a hard working man. It didn’t look right that his hair was tidy and the lines in his faced had smoothed.
Everytime I said goodbye it didn’t seem enough, I couldn’t walk out that door and kept going back to him, I didn’t want this to be the last time I saw my Dad.
After some time my family and I walked back to the reception, my Mum had to sign some paperwork and collect his belongings. Our Mum came over to us with a smirk on her face, we was confused.
She began to tell us that they had lost something of Dads. Now my Dad would lose everything his keys, glasses, and his dentures. My mum whispered… they can’t find his top teeth.
We just all stared at each other and understood why Mum was smirking, we all had a giggle. It was almost like Dad had given us the last laugh.
Dad had a lovely send off, and my sister and I wrote a poem which she read at the service. She was so brave.
By Chelsey and Joanne Morley
We will take this moment
to turn our thoughts to our Dad,
and thank him for the home he gave
and for all the things we had
He was strong and fearless
teaching us to stand our ground
and helping others no matter what,
when we needed him he was always around
We could always depend on his positivity,
even when the cars went wrong, he carried the stress
and when something got broken, out came the duct tape
even thought it would mostly look like a mess.
He was always busy from day to day
and only sometimes complained,
with steady hands he worked so hard
and proudly kept the family name
If we ever forgot to show our gratitude
for all the things he has done,
we are thanking him now
and hoping he knew all along
that he was our number one.
Each day gets a tiny bit better but I still have this dull ache in my heart which I can’t imagine will ever leave me. I still can’t quite get my head around that I will never see my Dad again and still expect to see him at my parents home.
I love you Dad and I miss you dearly.