My father died


Dad died last week. He was eighty-eight. Looking back, it was a miracle we got him home from hospital for one final Christmas. A week into the new year he fell and was taken back in with an infection, and after twelve months of fighting the symptoms of heart failure, his time was finally up.

His chair is empty and the TV is off. I stayed in Wales for a couple of days and threw myself into the admin because it was something I could do to help and as a way to process the loss. I went through his drawers for bills and bank accounts details and insurances and pensions with focussed ferocity. Then I came home and spent time with my own family. Most things can be done from a distance. I’m a six-hour drive away, and I’ve always wished I was closer. He was independent to the very end. We got him to the finish line as he wanted. I’m proud of that.

I’m tired but coming to terms with things. It was a good ending. He had a long life, he was loved, and he left peacefully. The year is going to be different to how I imagined.