Dad’s funeral was yesterday. A sad occasion for sure. He was 89 (exactly a month off turning 90), been ill for a while, but when the end comes it is no less of a shock.
He didn’t die of Covid, but Covid stopped us being at his hospital bedside at the end. Which was shitty to be frank.
My brother Simon and sister Joanna spoke at his funeral - words which were powerful and moving. I, however, wasn’t going to let the old boy get off quite so lightly. Below were my opening remarks....
You have heard some lovely words today about my father.
Well, I’m here to puncture a few of those myths!
Today’s eulogy is brought to you by the Letter ‘L”
Listening, Letters, Love, Laughter, and Lists!
A great listener, yes
A great letter writer, absolutely
Hugely likeable, yes
Lots laughter, sure
Utterly unable to Lie, true
Oh, and, let’s not forget fiercely protective of his family,
An avid reader
And, as if you haven’t guessed, an avid list maker too.
That man loved a good list!
But... he had weaknesses.
Especially a weakness to chocolate and to booze!
Once Myrtle left a shopping list for us when she was away for the night.
Dad edited it crossing off the boring stuff like bread and soup, adding chocolate and whiskey.
In fact he had a very sweet tooth did Dad. He loved deserts.
Mum joked there were 3 people in their relationship.
And one of them was a tart. A custard tart.
Dad had a great sense of humour. Dry as anything.
At a very young age I naively pointed out to him our birthdays fell on the same day of the month. His 26th Dec, mine exactly 9 months after his on 26th Sept. He just winked at me. At the time I didn’t know why.
In fact that wink was lost on me until my 1st year biology class in secondary school.
That man was playing the long game with at that wink.
About 30 years ago (when he was the same age I am now) he and I started to become much closer. I guess in the years before that he was learning how to be a father and me a son. But 30 years ago I started to see things with my father’s eyes
He was a role model. Although he modestly never saw himself as such.
I once said to him, "we are all role models whether we want to be or not".
He just smiled.
He had a great smile.