Just what it says on the tin…

Until a few months ago, I used to have my homepage set to my blogs home page. I used to like seeing if people had left comments etc. Then it started to upset me, that every time I went online, the words greeting me each day were the words, ‘Rest in Peace Dearest Dad’.

It’s not as though it’s something i need reminding of… and i didn’t have the inclination to write a blog post so i just changed my home page. But then for the last couple of months it’s been easy to avoidmy blog altogether, and I was toying with the idea of just not bothering to come back…everything looks lacklustre beneath the veil of mourning…triviality and meaninglessness are things to despise when pain knows no bounds.

But then not everything has to be deep and heavy, does it?

So I found myself here this evening, unexpectedly really…and decided to write a post to say whatever it is that i’m trying to say.

I have some apologies to make…i have recieved some lovely, caring emails from some lovely, caring blog buds and i have not got around to responding because i didn’t really feel up to it i guess. So Lorna, Alexa & Suz, Shell please accept my apologies. Apologies in advance if i am missing anyone out, i don’t mean to…i just have a poor memory. That you thought of me while i was absent from the blogosphere, was very much appreciated.

I’ll end this by saying that a few weeks ago, myself, Mum, my children and my brother, all went to a place of personal significance to us and to our dear departed loved one…and while there, we scattered Dad’s ashes….we said a prayer and then each threw a rose on the river.

Glancing at the calendar on my laptop as i write this, i realise that it is 3 months since Dad died. If absence makes the heart grow fonder then my heart could not hold more love for him or miss him more.

But it is the way of things that life continues without each of us…we only play our part in this great extravaganza of living for a short while, until we too must take our final bow…and for every pull of the heart towards oblivion when darkness has us in its clutches, there is still an identifiable will to survive and overcome.

Laughter escapes our mouths even in the midst of grief…sometimes at the most innappropriate times…and enjoyment, though perhaps tainted, can still be had…the various machinations that conspire to awaken us, to move us through each day and motivate us toward living don’t just do so as for an automoton…

There is meaning and purpose in living, it is called love….and it goes on beyond the grave.

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Rest in Peace, Dearest Dad…

Many thanks to those of you who have kindly emailed, left comments and sent cards from around the world (particularly at this time i must mention special thanks to dear Mimi, Antonia, and Alexa!).

The burden of grief bears heavy upon us all who are mourning, but it is said for good reason that God never gives us more than we can bear, and we shall shoulder the loss of our dear departed loved one, somehow.

I would like to let you know, dear readers of this blog, friends and family, that Dad will be received into church at 6pm this evening, prior to the Ash Wednesday Mass which will take place at 7.30pm.

Tomorrow afternoon, the 10th March 2011, Dad’s Funeral Mass will take place at 1pm at Our Lady and St. Benedicts Catholic Church, and will be followed by his cremation at 2.30pm. A reception/wake to celebrate Dad’s life, will then follow.

The cause of Dad’s death is still being ascertained and a full and complete death certificate has not yet been issued, because it was necessary for Dad to have a post mortem despite having passed away in hospital after a very long illness. However, we are very grateful that we are now able to lay Dad to rest, despite the necessary investigations into the exact cause of Dad’s death.

We kindly ask that there will be no flowers at the funeral except for the large spray of red roses which will be from Dad’s immediate and closest family members. Instead, we ask  (this is for information purposes only, i am not requesting donations!!!) that if people feel so inclined, they would please make a donation (to be paid/given to the Funeral Directors or myself or Phil),so that we may fulfill our hope of purchasing breathing equipment (in the form of a nebuliser, possibly two) for Respiratory Ward 81 at the City General Hospital, where Dad was cared for, but sadly, later died.

Now, here is a request!

If you could, would you please offer up a prayer for the repose of Dad’s soul?

Thank you.

It may be of interest for you to read the online version of the obituary that we placed in the city newspaper last week.

Click here to read it.

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Once more…

may i beg your prayers….for the repose of my dear Daddies soul. Dad passed during the early hours of this monring (Sunday) at about 3:50am. Mum and i were at his bedside as he passed. Words really can’t express how we are feeling, but I know my dear friends, that death is a visitor to each of our families, that it comes to us all, that you know something of this agony. Dad passed holding the ‘holding cross’ that he has had with him all his time in hospital these past 6 weeks. He motioned for it to be put in his hand shortly before he passed.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you, as do all my near and dear ones, for all your many prayers and your kindnesses…you have helped to keep us going all along this arduous 12 month journey which Dad has so bravely endured

Shortly before he passed he said, ‘Oh God….no more’. ~A little while later he breathed his last.

We stayed until almost 8am, my dear brother left work and travelled up to come sit with Dad a while, as Dad lay peacefully, just as if sleeping…with a rosary in one hand and the holding cross in the other….because of the special air pressure mattress on the hospital bed, which moves as any pressure is placed at whatever point, it almost seemed from time to time, that Dad was still breathing….when i had alerted the nursing staff, when Dad seemed no longer to be inhaling the oxygen from his mask, even the nurse thought at first that he had fallen asleep…he had been so poorly when we arrived at the hospital…it was such a blessing that beofre he passed he finally was able to rest a little….then close his eyes, and leave us for a better life, a healthy life, meeting now, now doubt with his much loved family members who had left this world before him.

The Catholic Chaplain came to Dad’s bedside after Dad had passed, he prayed, we prayed, it was good for the soul, it was what Dad would have wanted.

Now begins the difficult part, the practicalities of dealing with all that must be done….but they are a sign of the life Dad lived on earth…we are a sign that he loved on earth, and how we love him so.

Of your charity my dear friends, pray for my dear departed Dad…I will write more, because i may want to or need to, but for now i will leave this here.

My Dad’s name as many of you know, is Peter, he became Catholic only in recent years after many many years, more than 60 of claiming atheism or agnosticism to be his belief system, or lack of beliefsysytem, whatever the hell it was. When he became Catholic he took the Saints name of Thomas, as in ‘doubting Thomas’….we are so glad Dad found his faith, and that he lived his faith right up until the end, to the best of his ability.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon him, and through the mercy of God may he rest in peace. Amen.

Goodnight my darling Daddy…

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Update of Feb 1st

Hey folks,

Many thanks for the encouraging and supportive comments on the previous post. Just a note to say that Dad is still with us and has confounded the doctors with his determination to fight this nasty illness. Having said that, the night before last (in the early hours of Sunday monring – i think) Dad deteriated rapidly and the doctor called for us to go to hospital and once more, advised us to prepare ourselves for the worst. He now has double pneumonia – ie, pneumonia in both lungs. He surely is the strongest and most stoic man i have ever met.

Dad isn’t drinking much now and he is only drinking very little…the past few days, though he is lucid, it takes him all his strength  just to keep breathing in and out and so because we can’t converse he has been writing notes, yesterday he handed me one that said ‘I thought i had been called last night’.

Today i handed Dad a note saying that whichever of us goes first has to pray the rest of our family into heaven. He nodded in agreement.

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