Monday, 7 January 2013

Back Amongst The Living.

An Happy belated New Year to you all.  I have just been to Hell and back during the last 8 or 9 days.  Last Friday night (Dec 28) was spent in the ICU unit at Bantry General hospital waiting for my father to take his last breath.  He fought like a lion and after 25 hours we went home for a rest.  Two O'clock in the morning and a nurse phoned us to tell us that my dad was taking his last breath.  So we got ourselves together and drove to the hospital and found out that he had just died.  I touched his head and it was still warm.

The next few days were spent preparing the funeral service and generally moping and grieving and seeing to the livestock.  Death is such horrible unfinished and inevitable business.   The Anglican Canon let me help him prepare the service, choose the hymns, write the Eulogy and add a few music pieces.  All through the wonders of the Email. Wednesday arrived and we drove to Durrus passing council workmen crossing themselves whilst the hearse passed by.  Then we carried my dad into St James Church on the shores of Dunmanus bay.  It's such a beautiful little stone church and one of the graves contains the remains of a Booker prize literature author.

The service was beautiful, moving and a fitting send off for my dad.  We placed a floral cross from Jean and me with red, blue and white ribbons, a floral 'dad' tribute from my brother and a floral arrangement from my two lads with green white and orange ribbons.  The ribbons represented Britain and Ireland and my father's love for both countries and the time he spent in them.

The Canon even allowed for a CD with a choir singing 'Jerusalem' to be played whilst the congregation reflected on my dad's love of England and Ireland.  I thought to myself:

"Why can't the world be English and Anglican?"

The service was incredibly moving and my Eulogy (the vicar read it) told my dad how I loved him and how I was sorry when I let him down and how he never let me down.  Isn't it sad how I never told my dad that when he was alive?

We buried my dad in the grave beside my mother, next to his parents and brothers and sisters grave.  I looked down Dunmanus bay and thought about the words what my wife Jean first said when she visited my grandparents grave:

"They lived by the sea and they are buried by the sea."

Now the same can be said for my dad.  .

The day after the service I walked passed the world famous singer Donovan in Bantry.  I had seen him play Glastonbury festival in 1989 and always loved his song 'Universal Soldier'.  The mental jukebox started playing in my head.  It made think of my dad fighting like a lion in the ICU.  God bless all those doctors and nurses who fight to save people's lives and for their honesty when they tell you they can't do miracles.

Here's 'Universal Soldier' for you to listen to.  See you later.


  1. That meant to say Dave.... It's my new iPad, it changes words

  2. Hi John, Many thanks for your kindness. I look forward to catching up with your and my other Internet friends blogs in the next few days. Thanks John.

  3. Thanks Ronnie. Look forward to reading your smallholding blog and all about your hens and your photographs this year.

    Thanks again.

  4. Very sorry to hear of your loss. I know your eulogy will have been beautiful, and also that your father will have known everything that you wanted to say to him, allowing you to leave it unsaid.

  5. Dave, so sorry about the loss of your Dad. It sounds like you did him proud in the service. Take care of yourself. I haven't listened to any Donovan for yonks so will fossick some out today. Have as happy a New Year as you can in the circumstances.

  6. Welcome back Dave, hope you're feeling a bit better after a very sad time.

  7. Thanks for your lovely comments Ben. It was really cathartic to write the eulogy. I always read your blogs Ben. Thanks again.

  8. Thanks Carole, We could do with some of your sunshine over here.

    It's weird when a famous person like Donovan walks passed you and goes in a shop to do some shopping. I have even see Maureen O'Hara (The Quiet Man)doing her shopping.

    Thanks Carole.

  9. Thanks Cumbrian, I have missed our daily chin wag. We sampled the Mead (Cumbrian recipe) the other day. Talk about Ambrosia for ye gods. It's pure nectar. Absolutely incredible. You would think we bought it in a shop.


  10. Pleased the mead went down well, and it tends to improve with keeping if you can resist tasting for 6 months.

    Weather unseasonally warm here, breezy and damp.
    Raggy cat continues its hedonistic lifestyle.

  11. The mead and the Jeddah gin were the best thing to happen in 2012. I notice that 1912 (Titanic sinking) was a terrible year also. We don't want a 12 in the year, that's for sure.

    It threw it down yesterday. Amazingly dry today. Raggy cat lives a rock and roll lifestyle. Good old Raggy cat.


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